Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MACTV News: REID TO BOEHNER, Posted by Menelik Zeleke




For Immediate Release
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CONTACT:  Adam Jentleson, (202) 224-2939

REID TO BOEHNER: COME BACK FROM VACATION,
PUT 74,000 AMERICANS BACK TO WORK

A clean extension would keep Americans employed while Congress resolves differences

Washington, D.C.– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the following letter to House Speaker John Boehner today asking him to pass a clean extension of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill so more than 74,000 Americans can go back to work.

“I stand ready to work with you to pass a clean extension of the FAA’s current programs, while we resolve our differences,” Reid wrote. “To illustrate the importance of the FAA extension, I was recently contacted by a Las Vegas construction worker who was ecstatic after getting a job working on the new control tower at McCarran International Airport. He was furloughed days later. Imagine how devastated he felt. There are thousands of Americans like my constituent who are out of work because of this impasse.”

“We must resolve our differences through the normal legislative process. In the meantime, we need a clean, short term extension to get these people back to work.”

House Republicans are trying to force through a policy change that would benefit one airline, while allowing the FAA’s authority to expire before going into recess. This has forced the furlough of 4,000 FAA employees and more than 70,000 contractors and construction workers.

A copy of the letter is attached and PDF is available here.

August 3, 2011

Speaker John Boehner
U.S. Capitol, H-232
Washington, DC  20515


Dear Speaker Boehner:

With both the House and Senate in pro-forma session over the next month, we can immediately resolve the impasse over the Federal Aviation Administration, and put back to work the more than 74,000 Americans who have been furloughed. I stand ready to work with you to pass a clean extension of the FAA’s current programs, while we resolve our differences.

To illustrate the importance of the FAA extension, I was recently contacted by a Las Vegas construction worker who was ecstatic after getting a job working on the new control tower at McCarran International Airport. He was furloughed days later. Imagine how devastated he felt. There are thousands of Americans like my constituent who are out of work because of this impasse

Upon their return home, I am certain that members of the House will hear from furloughed construction workers, airport managers, and FAA safety employees just as I have. With the livelihoods of many working families at stake, we should not allow this situation to remain unaddressed for weeks until Congress returns in early September.

We must resolve our differences through the normal legislative process. In the meantime, we need a clean, short term extension to get these people back to work. There is bipartisan support for this position. My colleague, Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said it best on the Senate floor yesterday: “We should not shut down the FAA because of a rider put on the extension of the FAA legislation that has not been negotiated. It is not honorable for the House to send an extraneous amendment.”

Just as we found compromise in recent days, we both know there is a path forward to end this impasse. I am personally willing to compromise on the essential air services issue during negotiations on the final bill, in order to pass a clean extension. It is also my hope that Republicans will relent on the controversial policy change that is narrowly targeted to benefit just one airline. I urge you to help us bring back to work more than 4,000 FAA employees – and the 70,000 contractors and construction workers – while we arrive at a consensus. 

We cannot afford to delay any longer.  I am ready to work with you to pass a clean extension immediately.

Sincerely,



Sen. Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader


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