Local Lawmakers Comment On Furloughs

By: Chelsey Moran
By: Chelsey Moran
Both Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and Senator Jerry Moran say they

Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Lynn Jenkins

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)--Both Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and Senator Jerry Moran say they're pleased by the news of the end to the FAA Furloughs.

"Americans are not pawn upon whom the administration can inflict pain to make a political point. The president already had the ability to prevent these flight delays, and did not act. So today [Friday], Congress took responsible action to put the American people above politics. The Reducing Flight Delays Act will ensure the safety and efficiency of our nation's transportation system by providing the FAA with the authority to prioritize funding and restore air traffic control operations. The bill will also provide the FAA with more than enough flexibility to keep the contract towers at Forbes Field and Philip Billard Municipal Airport open, along with approximately 149 contract towers across the country," said Congresswoman Jenkins.

She went on to say "The FAA's operations budget has grown by nearly 110 percent since 1996, while domestic flight traffic is down 27 percent. There is no reason the FAA had to furlough essential staff to absorb a 5 percent budget cut. They had a year and a half to plan for the sequester, but instead of making adequate reforms and cutting waste, the administration chose to disrupt our transportation system. We must put an end to this shameful, status quo politicking, and this vote was a step in the right direction."

Sen. Moran said "The House has joined the Senate to send a clear bipartisan message to the White House: use the flexibility you have to put safety first and solve this problem. The bill direct the FAA to find savings elsewhere in their budget rather than target air traffic controllers for furloughs and control towers for closure. Through smarter cuts, rather than tax hikes or smoke and mirrors, the bill provides $253 million in additional funding flexibility through the FAA-more than enough to protect both air traffic controllers and the 149 contract control towers slated for closure. This bipartisan solution is about safety-and is a victory for air travelers and communities nationwide."

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