Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
On FAA Shut Down
July 25, 2011
Yet again, the House Republicans are playing politics instead of building a strong, secure America. In another blatant example of political theater, the House Republicans refused to pass a routine measure to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), forcing lay-offs of thousands of FAA and construction workers, with tens of thousands more jobs at risk.
Republican members of Congress need to stop playing ideological games and get down to the serious business of creating jobs, instead of laying off FAA aviation experts and tens of thousands of construction workers, who are already experiencing close to 20 percent unemployment rates nationally. Adding insult to injury, just as the government reaches its debt limit, this disruption of the FAA means that aviation taxes – totaling up to $200 million a week – that normally fund our aviation infrastructure may instead end up in the airlines’ pockets.
The House Republicans are undertaking this extraordinary disruption of the operations of the FAA for one reason – to play to a political ideology focused on scapegoating workers. Instead of laying off the people responsible for safe, secure aviation, our elected leaders ought to be building a high wage, high skill economy where our middle class is strong and America thrives.