If you fall into any of those categories or the many others facing sequester impacts, you're out of luck: political paralysis is screwing you. But if you're an air traveller confronted with the potential for flight delays, never fear, because Congress has got your back.
The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester.I'm certainly not in favor of the arbitrary flight delays imposed on the traveling public by the sequester, but it's wrong to give political priority to certain groups of people just because senators and members of Congress are more likely to know people impacted by flight delays than people suffering from other consequences of the sequester.
Senators unanimously approved the "Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" — a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country.
The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA's budget — but not allocated to pay for other things -- to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights a on time.
It was passed by unanimous consent, which means no senator objected.
The House could take the bill up tomorrow and pass it with 2/3 support of that chamber.
The way this is playing out puts the lie to the whole sequester charade. The sequester was sold as a poison pill that would force Congressional compromise on long-term fiscal policy, but now that preferred interest groups are getting exemptions to the sequester, the whole thing merely reinforces the fact that if you want Congress to serve your needs, it pays to have power. The only real solution to the sequester is to simply get rid of it—pretty much everything else is just a debate about who should get punished by austerity.