Maybe It’s Just Me

Well, supposedly there’s a deal in the works to pass another short-term extension for the FAA to operate.  Note the title:  FAA Shutdown: Senate to Pass House Bill, End Shutdown, yet the URL is

“This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in a statement. “But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”

Funding for the FAA was held “hostage,” as Reid said, because of a provision in the House bill that cut $16.5 million in subsidies to rural airports, a provision Senate Democrats staunchly opposed. While the Senate bill will keep the House’s cuts, it also gives Treasury Secretary Ray LaHood the authority to grant waivers allowing some of the subsidies to continue.

The short-term bill will extend funding through Sept. 16.

President Obama, who has called the stalemate another “self-inflicted wound on the economy,” issued a statement today supporting Reid’s agreement to end the shutdown.

“I’m pleased that leaders in Congress are working together to break the impasse involving the FAA so that tens of thousands of construction workers and others can go back to work. We can’t afford to let politics in Washington hamper our recovery, so this is an important step forward,” Obama said in the statement.

This article states (title: Reid: Congress reaches deal to end FAA shutdown):

The bill includes language that gives the transportation secretary the authority to continue subsidized service to the 13 communities if he decides it’s necessary.

Democrats said they expect the administration to effectively waive or negate the cuts.

“I just know that the White House has provided assurances that they (the communities) will be held harmless,” said a Senate Democratic leadership aide who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the deal.

Truth is, I’m not sure what is happening.   Where is the language for the waivers?  Was the language there to begin with?  Is it somehow being added?  How?  Who is waiving the provisions?  The White House?  The DOT Secretary?  Was it a deal or an acceptance?  How can you reach a deal with someone who isn’t there?

I’m very glad for the workers that get to go back to work (and their families).  I’m exceedingly glad that the airlines aren’t going to be able to continue to use the situation to pad their bottom lines at the expense of the American public.

But I don’t see this as the “victory” people are claiming it is.  I feel like I was just held up at gunpoint and instead of just handing over the keys to my car, I walked the robbers to it ten rows over, unlocked it for them…and offered to drive.

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