Sunday, December 10, 2023

Biden Administration Warns That Government Shutdown Could Disrupt Air Travel

The Biden administration supplied new warnings on Wednesday {that a} authorities shutdown may disrupt the nation’s air journey system, a part of an effort to put blame on the ft of Home Republicans forward of a doable funding lapse this weekend.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated {that a} shutdown would jeopardize the work the administration has executed to deal with a scarcity in air site visitors controllers, modernize aviation expertise and scale back flight delays and cancellations which have plagued vacationers.

“There is no such thing as a good time for a authorities shutdown, however it is a notably dangerous time for a authorities shutdown, particularly relating to transportation,” Mr. Buttigieg stated at a information convention on the Transportation Division’s headquarters. “The implications can be disruptive and harmful.”

Authorities funding will expire at midnight on Saturday if Congress doesn’t agree on a stopgap spending measure by then. Home Republicans have been unable to resolve a standoff with far-right lawmakers of their ranks, and Mr. Buttigieg assailed the celebration for bringing the federal government inside days of a shutdown.

If funding lapses, federal employees will likely be furloughed or forced to work without pay. Air site visitors controllers and Transportation Safety Administration officers would proceed to work, however they might not be paid till the shutdown ends.

Hours earlier than Mr. Buttigieg spoke, the White Home issued a information launch with a state-by-state breakdown of the roughly 13,000 air site visitors controllers and 50,000 T.S.A. officers who must work with out pay. The information launch warned that an “excessive Republican shutdown,” because the White Home has taken to describing it, risked inflicting delays for vacationers.

A shutdown may additionally disrupt the federal government’s efforts to deal with an present scarcity of air site visitors controllers, which has already resulted in cutbacks to flight schedules at airports within the New York Metropolis space. The coronavirus pandemic compelled a pause in coaching for brand new controllers on the Federal Aviation Administration’s academy in Oklahoma Metropolis, drying up the pipeline of recent employees, and a shutdown would put a halt to coaching as soon as once more.

Separate from the potential funding lapse, the F.A.A. may face additional disruption as a result of Congress additionally faces a deadline on Saturday to go laws reauthorizing the company, and lawmakers may miss that deadline, too.

Air site visitors controllers and T.S.A. brokers have been compelled to work with out pay in the course of the 35-day partial authorities shutdown in late 2018 and early 2019, and the results on the nation’s air journey system drew vital consideration because the weeks handed.

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