During a townhall meeting today, armchair cheerleader and US Senator Michael Bennet blamed "nothing but politics" for the shutdown of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). He refused to take any responsibility for the mess, despite the fact that the Democrat majority in the US Senate has refused to hold a vote on the FAA re-authorization bill, a move that has forced the shutdown and mass furloughs at the FAA.
Not only did the Senate Democrat majority refuse to hold a vote, but they left town for vacation. Now a vote is unlikely for weeks, leaving thousands of FAA employees out of work and forced to dip into their savings to get through the rough period — all thanks to Michael Bennet and his fellow Democrat Senators.
The Denver Post totals the damage done by Senate Democrats:
"…federal lawmakers’ failure last week to pass temporary funding for the FAA, as it has 20 times since 2007, has led to the furlough of 4,000 FAA workers, stop-work orders issued in $2.5 billion of airport construction projects, and government revenue losses of $200 million a week because airlines no longer have authority to collect ticket taxes."
Our esteemed US Senators from Colorado, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, pulled a favorite trick out of their hats to dodge responsibility — they released a public letter calling for funding to the FAA and blaming "Congress." As a recent Coloradoan article points out, though, it's not a failure of Congress, but rather the US Senate, of which Udall and Bennet are in the majority.
From the Coloradoan:
As of Friday afternoon, the reauthorization had been passed by the House and was awaiting action in the Senate.
Since 2007, the Senate has been working to change a decades-old labor law that would allow for easier unionization of airline workers. A majority of airlines oppose this measure. Earlier this year, Bennet supported Senate passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, which has not been substantively examined or rewritten since 2007.
The US Senate Democrat majority has done nothing on the matter but sit around hoping nobody notices. Senate Democrats are apparently willing to layoff thousands of workers all over their demand to give extra goodies to Big Labor.
But don’t worry, Michael Bennet “supports” authorization of the bill, his party just won’t vote to let that happen. You see? He shoulders no blame.
The Democrats in the Senate haven't even passed a budget in over 800 days. It appears all they're good for is keeping the pony express running.
When FAA employees are looking for someone to blame, they should look to the politicians who took a vacation, rather than deal with the funding for their agency.
And while Michael Bennet (and Mark Udall) have made it an art form blaming others for Harry Reid and their party’s actions, that does not change the fact that the FAA quagmire is the fault of Harry Reid, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall’s inaction.