Toomey Air Traffic Controller Furloughs — Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa) has sent this statement concerning the furloughing of air traffic controllers by President Obama and the solution offered by the Senator which has been approved by Congress and now awaits the President’s signature.
(On April 25), the Senate approved my bipartisan bill to halt furloughs of air traffic controllers. And today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed this legislation which now awaits President Obama’s signature.
This bill maintains the savings in the sequester and provides the Transportation Secretary the flexibility to avoid furloughs of essential employees, such as air traffic controllers, at the Federal Aviation Administration.
Two months ago, I co-authored with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) legislation that would have achieved the savings of the sequester while giving the administration the flexibility to cut the lowest priority spending items throughout the federal government rather than the across-the-board spending cuts in the sequester. Preferring to make the political point that spending cuts were not manageable, President Obama threatened to veto this approach and insisted on making the most disruptive spending cuts possible.
I am delighted that my Democratic colleagues have now finally come around to accept that the spending cuts of the sequester are entirely manageable. Congressional passage of this measure to halt the furloughs of air traffic controllers is great news and a victory for common sense. This bill, a narrower version of the one Sen. Inhofe and I proposed, preserves essential services and cuts lower priority spending. It’s what we need to do across the entire federal government.