Work on this air traffic control tower under construction has been stopped Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, Calif. Since a partial shutdown of the FAA took effect Friday, the agency has furloughed nearly 4,000 workers, stopped the processing of about $2.5 billion in airport construction grants, and issued stop work orders to construction and other contractors on more than 150 projects, from airport towers to runway safety lights
The Federal Aviation Administration has been in a partial shutdown mode since July 22. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the shutdown will continue, with some 4,000 federal workers remaining on furlough.
“It’ll be closed until… maybe not September, maybe more than that,” he tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris.
The FAA shutdown continues despite the end of weeks of debate over raising the federal debt ceiling — the House approved that legislation Monday, and the Senate followed suit Tuesday. President Obama signed the bill Tuesday afternoon.
An AP story reports that the “Senate continues to object to legislation approved by the House to fully fund the FAA. The bill includes cuts to certain subsidies for rural air service.”
But Reid says the problem actually lies with one airline: Delta.
“The House has tried to make this a battle over essential air service,” he says. “It’s not a battle over essential air service. It’s a battle over Delta Airlines, who refuses to allow votes under the new rules that have been passed by the NLRB [National Labor Relations Board].”
The issue, Reid says, is Delta’s “non-union” stance. The bill to fund the FAA, as crafted by House Republicans, includes language that sets new rules for aviation workers’ votes on labor representation.
And, what was Dingy Harry Reid and the Democrats talking about?
Jobs….. but, I guess their way or the highway and not the skies.