April 23, 2013 - Mitch McConnell accuses the Obama administration of “hiding the ball” from the “traveling public” on FAA furloughs.

He claims that the FAA Administrator didn’t mention the furloughs in his testimony before Senate Committees last week.

From the Statement of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, April 16, 2013

I want to emphasize that as we undergo the difficult process of implementing the deep cuts required by the sequester, we refuse to sacrifice safety—even if this means less efficient operations.

In addition to contract towers, large facilities will also be affected. To reach the figure we need to cut from our payroll—which is our largest operating cost—we have to furlough 47,000 of our employees for up to 11 days between now and September.

The furloughs will reduce controller work hours at all airports with towers, but also at radar facilities across the country. Again, safety is our number one concern. We will only allow the amount of air traffic that we can handle safely to take off and land. This means travelers should expect delays. Today we are meeting with air carriers to go over specific operational impacts related to the furloughs facility by facility.

From the Statement of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, April 18, 2013:

The cuts required by the sequester have forced us to slash contract expenses and furlough 47,000 of our employees. With employees working fewer hours, we will have less efficient air traffic operations and less time for safety inspectors to certify new aircraft for the market.

Is Mitch McConnell spending so much time trying to score political points that he isn’t paying attention to what is actually being said in these hearings, or is he lying to the American people by accusing the Obama administration of “hiding the ball?”

That seems like a fair question.

February 26, 2013 - On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, GA Congressman Jack Kingston urged the Senate to take up the sequester bill that the House  passed in December…even though it no longer exists.

Jack Kingston has been in Congress since 1993, he should understand the basics of lawmaking by now, shouldn’t he?

For instance: When a new Congress begins, bills from the last Congress don’t carry over.

There is no longer a bill for the Senate to “take up.” Asking the Senate to “take up” a nonexistent bill is idiotic. Pass something in this Congress, then complain about the Senate.

Rep. Tom Price thinks the sequester is necessary to “get this economy rolling again.” 

According to information from the White House, If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Georgia this year alone are: 

  • Teachers and Schools: Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding.
  • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities. 
  • Work-Study Jobs: Around 2,490 fewer low income students in Georgia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 890 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. 
  • Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,700 children in Georgia, reducing access to critical early education.
  • Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Georgia would lose about $3.5 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Georgia could lose another $979,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • Military Readiness: In Georgia, approximately 37,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $190.1 million in total.
  • Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $233 million in Georgia. 
  • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Georgia would be cut by about $5 million. 
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Georgia will lose about $427,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. 
  • Job Search Assistance to Help those in Georgia find Employment and Training: Georgia will lose about $873,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 33,160 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. 
  • Child Care: Up to 1,100 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.  
  • Vaccines for Children: In Georgia around 4,180 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $286,000.
  • Public Health: Georgia will lose approximately $925,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Georgia will lose about $2.5 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 2400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And Georgia health departments will lose about $571,000 resulting in around 14,300 fewer HIV tests.  
  • STOP Violence Against Women Program: Georgia could lose up to $208,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 800 fewer victims being served.  
  • Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Georgia would lose approximately $1.3 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.

Which of the these will be good for Georgia’s economy?

Ask Tom Price.