REPUBLICAN LEADERS SHOULD PUT SAFETY FIRST, NOT WHITE HOUSE FAVORS

Democrats will Oppose FAA Reauthorization without Privatization Prohibition

For Immediate Release:

October 29, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today released the following statement today criticizing Republicans for failing to include the privatization prohibition in the FAA Conference Report, which was in both the House and Senate passed bills:

“Republicans failed the first time to produce a bipartisan FAA Reauthorization conference report that could pass both the House and the Senate because they let the White House dictate language on the privatization of air traffic control.  Pressure from a unified Democratic Caucus and a small group of Republican members forced them to recommit the report, creating a stalemate.

“Unfortunately, the solution Republicans presented today is no solution at all because it still fails to prohibit the privatization of air control towers as the bipartisan House and Senate bills did.

“It is important to note, the first version of this FAA reauthorization bill containing the prohibition passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, 418 to 8.  And the very next day, it flew through the Senate without opposition, 94 to 0.  Yet the White House, with their obsession to privatize even inherently government jobs, threatened to veto any version of the bill that prohibited privatization.  The problem is, Congress does not agree with them.  Congress is trying to put safety first.

“There is a novel fix to this problem, listen to the will of the Congress and prohibit privatization of air traffic control.  It is as simple as that. 

“Members of both bodies have already agreed: air traffic control is an inherently governmental function that should be performed by federal employees, not private contractors, which must always focus on the bottom line. It’s time to see if the Republicans will stick to their principles and support the safety and security of our nation’s skies – or sacrifice that to please the White House.”

 

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