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National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Condemns Government Shutdown

control towerWASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today condemned the shutdown of the federal government and called on Congress to end it immediately.

As a result of the shutdown, 3,000 of NATCA’s aviation safety professionals, vital to the daily function, maintenance and safety of the National Airspace System (NAS) have been furloughed. 

“It is unacceptable that thousands of our aviation safety professionals have been forced to stay home due to partisan posturing in Congress,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “I implore Congress to reach an agreement to end this shutdown, which is hurtful to our nation’s aviation system, our economy and the American people.”

During the shutdown, air traffic controllers are working without pay, but essential support staff specialists have been furloughed. Rinaldi said this is akin to a surgeon performing an operation without any staff to prep the room, clean the equipment or provide support during the surgery. In addition, controllers who train new hires will be unable to continue much of the training process. This could result in high controller attrition as frustrated trainees fall further behind in the training process. Controller hiring was already frozen due to sequestration.

Below are just a few of the thousands of projects that will be delayed or halted due to the government shutdown and furloughing of aviation safety professionals.

  • A delay in the opening of a new runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
  • A flight inspection scheduled for Janesville, Wis., Airport has been shut down due to the furlough of key personnel. Without an inspection, the approach into the airport will eventually be declared inoperative. This results in inefficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots, and a reduction in the margin of safety.
  • Thousands of certification projects performed by NATCA Aircraft Certification Engineers are now suspended.
  • A halt in the ELD Power Cable Replacement at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW). The cable supplies power to the navigational aids on the diagonal runways at DFW. Construction planned for January will now be delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
  • A hold on hundreds of Aircraft Certification Office projects. This will result in a delay in the approval of safety related equipment modifications to aircraft going through the certification process.
  • A stop for work on Airworthiness Directives, NTSB safety recommendations and other vital safety related work performed by Aircraft Certification Engineers. This could delay the issuance and implementation of mandated safety fixes to aircraft.
  •  A delay of all projects affecting surveillance radars that feed the 100 busiest airports in the NAS.
  •  A halt in the development and implementation of navigational aids for a new runway at Fort Lauderdale airport.
  •  A halt on several runway safety projects, including glide slope relocation at Long Beach, Calif.
  • A delay in major mechanical upgrades scheduled for three air traffic control En Route Centers.

NATCA MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 315-796-1560

GOP House Members still fighting? Gonna be costly.

No, it’s not de ja vu. It’s just that… so much of it is still exactly on-point.  Wish it wasn’t, but it is. So, with very few updates, here’s a repeat of my post from February 6, 2013:

————————

Last person leaving, please dock the doorsHoping for bipartisan cooperation, now that the election is over? Think again.

The weekend before the inauguration, Republicans gathered in Williamsburg to discuss strategies for “fighting” the President. Just a week later, former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan was telling a gathering of conservatives that “Republicans control both the House and most of the statehouses. So we have to oppose the president and the Senate on some fronts—and engage them on others…”

Does that sound like cooperation to you?

Looks like it’s going to be an interesting next few months. Two dates to mark on your calendar:

On March 1st, the sequestration cuts are scheduled to go went into effect. Cutting government services through these automatic, across-the-board cuts is expected to send the economy back into recession. One example: according to a study commissioned by the airline industry, the FAA’s share of the sequestration cuts is about $1 billion a year. That cut would reduce the nation’s air traffic between 5% and 10%, and the country would lose between 66,000 and 132,000 jobs related to air transportation. The irony? The economic losses would cause tax revenues to drop by as much as $1 billion a year. (Hmmn… $1 billion in tax revenues lost because of a $1 billion spending cut. Not a whole lot of deficit-reduction going on, is there?)  After members of Congress were inconvenienced by airport delays, the FAA was granted special treatment under the sequestration act.  Recent estimates of the economic costs of sequestration include:  1.6 million jobs and 1.2% of GDP.

On March 27th  September 30th, the “continuing resolution” that funded federal government expired. That means a possible “government shutdown”. According to Politico, a majority of GOP House members “are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner ‘may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,’ said a top GOP leadership adviser.”

What happens if the government shuts down? Federal employees who are deemed “essential” are still required to go to work – they just don’t get paid until after Congress approves a bill to pay them. The last time there was a significant government shutdown, almost a half-million federal employees were required to work without pay for three weeks.

The economic damage went far beyond the family finances of federal employees. The crisis also caused 11 states to suspend unemployment insurance, due to lack of federal funds. Veterans’ services were suddenly unavailable (including counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and pension and education payments). The crisis affected the oil industry, leaving more than 10,000 barrels a day untapped while companies waited for federal reviews. The tourism industry suffered millions of dollars in losses each day of the shutdown, because passports and visas were not processed. The housing industry suffered when $800 million worth of mortgage loans were delayed. The crisis halted cleanup of 609 toxic waste sites. It left hundreds of thousands of children in limbo, waiting for foster care or adoption.

And that was only a partial government shutdown. Most of the government still had funding, during that shutdown. (Just imagine what may happen on March 27th! now!)

There’s a moral here, folks. Government services are integral to our nation’s economy.

Is there any hope that Congress could learn that lesson, in the next month or so? Or is the GOP going to insist on doing economic damage, “just to get it out of their system”?

NH Congresswomen Speak Out Against Shutting Down The Government By The GOP

Carol Shea-Porter_Official.2010-300x288Shea-Porter Statement on the Federal Government Shutdown 

WASHINGTON, DCCongresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) issued the following statement after House Republicans chose to shut the federal government down rather than allow a vote on a clean bill to fund the government at current levels for six weeks:

“In a reckless attempt to obstruct the new health care law and extract an ideological laundry list of demands, House Republicans have shut down the federal government. These Tea Party tactics are harmful to the economy and they are an unacceptable way to govern.

“The House of Representatives has voted 45 times to obstruct, delay, defund, or repeal the Affordable Care Act. I am happy to debate the merits of the health care law through an open legislative process, but to hold vital government functions hostage unless we defund or delay the health care law is staggeringly irresponsible.

“This government shutdown will hurt New Hampshire families. Workers across the Granite State will be furloughed.  Seniors’ applications to begin receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits could be delayed. Businesses applying for loans through the Small Business Administration will have to wait.

“I have been very clear that I am willing to work with anyone to improve the Affordable Care Act, but I will not dismantle the health care law in exchange for funding the government. Funding the government is not a negotiating point. It’s Congress’ responsibility.

“I am deeply disappointed but not surprised that Tea Party Republicans have thrown our country into yet another unnecessary crisis. It’s time for Speaker John Boehner to drop this poisonous brand of politics and allow a vote on a clean bill to fund the government.”

Ann kuster head shot LGKuster Statement on Republican Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement in response to House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the federal government.

“House Republicans’ insistence on putting partisan ideology ahead of basic common sense has forced a government shutdown that will hurt real people in real ways. Some of my colleagues across the aisle have concluded that they would rather score political points at the expense of Granite State families and businesses than find actual solutions to the challenges we face. This is the height of irresponsibility.

“Instead of doubling-down on their all-or-nothing demands, House Republicans need to help pass a responsible bill to fund the government and provide certainty for New Hampshire families and businesses. I am hopeful that common sense will prevail so that the government can resume serving the American people and Congress can focus on solving problems instead of creating them. We can’t afford to keep lurching from crisis to crisis.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

NH AFL-CIO Calls on Ayotte to Do Her Job and Prevent Government Shutdown

NH AFL-CIO LogoThe New Hampshire AFL-CIO called today on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reverse course and reject Republican plans to continue to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. NH AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie expressed concern that such a strategy was yet another political gimmick that would hurt New Hampshire workers and residents.

“The Republican leadership has been playing with the future of the American people for too long,” said MacKenzie. “From holding food stamps and Social Security hostage in budget negotiations and planning to force the U.S. to default on its loans, it’s clear that Senator Ayotte and her Republican colleagues care more about catering to Tea Party extremists than serving the people. Tying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the funding needed to keep our country running is just another desperate move to push through a radical political agenda at any cost. We need Senator Ayotte to stand up for her constituents and not bow to Tea Party pressure.”

“Congress should be focusing on creating jobs, not making everyone’s lives harder,” MacKenzie continued. “80,000 workers are facing weeks and possibly months of unpaid furloughs thanks to the irresponsible and extreme positions of Republican leaders.  Yet it is the people of our state and across the country who will pay the highest price when so many workers are kept from doing their jobs. We ask that Senator Ayotte reject this fiscally irresponsible and dangerous path and do the job she was elected to do, serve all of the people of New Hampshire.”

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