Apr 23 2013
Hatch Calls on Obama Administration To Use Its Flexibility To Stop Travel Delays, Unnecessary Furloughs
FAA Has Said It Has The Ability to Transfer Funding to Offset Effects of the President’s Sequester
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today pressed the Obama Administration to use the flexibility it has to prevent unnecessary furloughs as a result of President Obama’s sequester. Hatch called for the Obama Administration to take these steps after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced yesterday that it would unnecessarily furlough 47,000 FAA employees across the country, creating needless airport delays, despite the fact that FAA Administrator Michael Huerta testified last week before Congress that the agency has flexibility under current law to transfer up to two percent of funding from other agency accounts to prevent these furloughs.
“We’ve seen so many reports about how the White House’s sequester scare tactics just didn’t add up, and unfortunately the FAA’s decision to furlough these 47,000 employees when the agency’s admitted it doesn’t have to just doesn’t pass the smell test,” Hatch said. “Furloughing hard-working agency employees and unnecessarily causing delays at airports around the country to try and score political points is wrong, and the Obama Administration should stop playing these games.”
The FAA currently spends $2.7 billion annually on non-personnel costs – including $541 million for consultants, $179 million on travel, and $134 million on office supplies. FAA Administrator Huerta testified last week that he has the ability to transfer funds from these accounts instead of furloughing agency employees and causing travel delays, but the FAA announced yesterday it would move forward with furloughing the approximately 47,000 employees.