This is a crosspost from NALC Activist Alert:
Having finally passed a debt ceiling extension, the House left town for August recess, leaving the Federal Aviation Administration shut down.
The Republican-controlled House refused to extend the FAA’s funding authorization July 22. Republicans want to use the funding bill to overturn a decision by the National Mediation Board that made it easier for airline workers to elect unions, simply by no longer counting workers who don’t vote as “no” votes.
While air traffic controllers and other essential employees remain on the job, 4,000 FAA workers and thousands more contractors–most of them construction laborers working on airport projects nationwide–are sitting at home, worrying about how they will pay the bills until at least Sept. 7, when House members return to Washington, DC.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who was working on a compromise temporary spending bill that would have put the FAA back to work over the August break, urged House leaders to stay in session to vote on the measure. But in a hurry to get to their vacation hideaways, Republicans packed their bags and left town.
“The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Rep. John Mica R-FL) has made it clear that House Republicans are willing to shut down the FAA in order to stick it to airline employees,” Rockefeller said. “It’s a tragedy that never had to happen. It’s a tragedy about ego, about bullying, about proving that one side is willing to cave.”