Rep. Schakowsky Statement on Reducing Flight Delays Act

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 26, 2013.  Rep. Jan Schakowsky stated the following about her vote on H.R. 1765, the Reducing Flight Delays Act:

“Today I voted in favor of H.R. 1765, the Reducing Flight Delays Act.  I did so because we cannot afford the job losses and economic consequences from delays that have occurred as a result of FAA furloughs.  However, this issue is just one example of the many, many unacceptable consequences of the sequester, which Congress should act promptly to eliminate. 

At airports across the country, the effects of sequestration are being felt.  Passengers are experiencing regular delays and workers are facing increased strain as a result of the overnight loss of ten percent of the FAA workforce.  Worse, FAA employees have been told to take 11 forced furlough days – more than two weeks of salary – from now through September.  The impact of those cuts on workers, their families, and the overall economy would be disastrous if not addressed, which is why I supported H.R. 1765.

But H.R. 1765 is just a band-aid for a deeply disastrous policy.  While flight delays have captured the attention of the nation over the past week, the sequester’s indiscriminate cuts are having devastating consequences on other critical programs.  Furloughs are also occurring at the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the EPA, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Head Start is cutting 70,000 slots for early childhood education nationwide, and in Indiana raffles are being held to determine which children will continue to go to school.  Meals on Wheels programs have eliminated 4 million meals to seniors.  Medical research and Medicare anti-fraud efforts are being cut.  Our most contaminated nuclear site – which is undergoing a massive environmental cleanup effort – laid off more than 200 people, with thousands more layoffs on the horizon.  The sequester is projected to cost 750,000 American jobs this year.  Those are not rational or reasonable cuts to our federal priorities.

I voted against the Budget Control Act, which put us on the path to sequestration, because I always believed there were better ways to responsibly address our deficit.  I am a cosponsor of H.R. 900, the End the Sequester Act, which would do exactly that.  We have a responsibility to do away with the sequester in its entirety, not play whack-a-mole as crises come into the national spotlight. “

Source: schakowsky.house.gov