April 24, 2013 - Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee claims that the FAA never mentioned having to furlough air traffic controllers before it happened.
Perhaps they should pay better attention.
From the Statement of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Aviation:
The sequester is looming, and massive budget cuts are set to go into effect just two days from now.
I want to make a clear distinction about how sequestration differs from previous government shutdowns that have been caused by failure to pass a budget, or by the temporary lapse in our authorization in July 2011.
First, almost all of our FAA accounts would be affected. Therefore, this would affect almost all of our employees.
We are looking at all options to reduce costs. We’re looking at a hiring freeze, and at cutting contracts and travel and other items not related to day-to-day operations. But, to reach the large figure we need to cut, we have little choice but to make up the rest through furloughing employees. This is not something that we take lightly.
Unlike a government shutdown, under the sequester, almost all of our employees would be affected, even what we would traditionally call “essential personnel.” The vast majority of our employees, including “essential workers” would have to be furloughed.
Under sequestration our flexibility is very limited because we must cut proportionately from all affected accounts. We can’t move money around and we have limited flexibility to choose what it is that we’re able to cut.
Now a very large portion of the DOT’s budget is exempt from the sequester. What this means is that the FAA will take more than 60 percent of the sequester cuts for all of the DOT, even though our agency makes up only about 20 percent of the department’s budget. Now, within the FAA, the airport grant program also is exempt from the sequester. So this again limits the choices we have on where to cut the money.
Finally, we have a very short time frame to make the bulk of these massive cuts—about six months. And that means the cuts would need to be deeper to have the same effect as if we could spread them out.
Having spent over a year at school in Kentucky, and having known many Kentuckians in my life, I can safely assert that this attention deficit afflicion is not common to all the people of the state. So what’s wrong with these two?