Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Congress takes a vacation....from SANITY!

The FAA shutdown
By Dylan Matthews

The Federal Aviation Administration has been partially shut down since July 23, when Congress failed to pass a bill allocating funding in time.
What this means: 4,000 FAA employees and 70,000 airport construction workers were immediately furloughed, the latter due to stop-work orders issued by the FAA to construction contractors. In addition to the furloughed workers, at least 40 safety inspectors are expected to continue working without pay, even covering their own travel expenses. Because Congress adjourned without passing funding, the shutdown will continue through September, delaying both airport construction and renovation projects intended to allow greater traffic, and an overhaul of the air traffic control system which promises to revolutionize air travel. It will also deny the government over $1 billion in revenue from ticket taxes, $200 million of which has been lost already. This savings is not being passed on to consumers, however, as airlines immediately increased fares by the same amount as the tax.