At least someone reads the bills.
A misplaced “s” in the Senate version of legislation drafted to end employee furloughs imposed by the sequester budget cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is holding up President Obama’s signature on the bipartisan-backed legislation, a congressional source told CNN Saturday. The Senate plans to correct its typing error on Tuesday.
Meanwhile the FAA wasted little time announcing that air traffic facilities will return to pre-furlough staff levels over the next 24 hours, returning to normal operations by Sunday evening.
President Obama dedicated his weekly address to repealing the sequester cuts that gave rise not only to the travel delays debated in Congress this week, but also reduced spending on popular programs including Head Start, Meals on Wheels, and spending for military families. Calling the FAA fix a “band-aid,” the president urged Republicans, “to look at their own budget,” claiming that the Paul Ryan authored GOP fiscal blueprint calls for triple the cuts to FAA spending as imposed by the sequester.
The bill, which received unanimous support in the Senate and passed 361 to 41 in the House, gives the FAA the authority to spend up to $253 million already allocated to the agency for staffing instead of applying the 7.6% cut to all departments equally, allowing some flexibility for officials and planners.
The quick fix may be a sign that other popular agencies could receive legislative relief to the rigid sequester cuts. msnbc analyst Perry Bacon discussed the cuts on Weekends with Alex Witt.
“We’re hearing two issues down the pipe, [National Institute of Health] funding and people who work in military hospitals are two groups that also might be affected…I expect Congress will put sequester fixes in those places as well,” he said.
Having sent the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013″ to the president’s desk, Congress adjourned for a nine-day recess.