President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to end the 12 day long FAA shutdown, as they retired for the summer.
The President remarked that members need not even return to town to resolve the dispute, and that it could be done through a procedural agreement when the debate resumes in September. He stated, "This is a lose, lose, lose situation that can be easily solved...."
The President was upset with some airlines said to have raised ticket fares even when they are not liable to pay revenue to the FAA during the shutdown period. This windfall currently totals at $360 million or more and is likely to go up to $1.2 billion if the standoff continues till September. ..."And we don't anticipate it's going to be easy to get that money back," Obama said, "Even though the airlines are collecting it, they're keeping it."
The White House, on Wednesday affirmed that it was trying to look at option to end the FAA shutdown that has affected more than 74,000 airport related construction jobs and some FAA personnel.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took offence with Congressmen as they failed to arrive at any decision regarding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension, without slashing subsidies for flights to 13 rural airports. LaHood urged legislators to return to Washington and pass the much anticipated extension bill.
As the House and Senate retired for the summer, LaHood accused them of holding 74,000 workers hostage. He also insisted "safety is not going to be compromised" during the shutdown. He noted that some FAA safety inspectors were paying expenses out of their own pocket to stay on the job.
As the stalemate continues, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement calling on the Senate to pass H.R. 2553, which was cleared by the House on July 20.
It read, "All it will take to end this crisis is for the Senate to pass the House-approved FAA extension," Boehner said. "The only reason so many jobs are at stake is Senate Democratic Leaders chose to play politics rather than pass the House bill. I respect the fact that Senators have certain objections, but they have had two weeks to respond to the House bill and done nothing, leaving tens of thousands of workers in limbo. The House has done its job, and now it's time for Senators to do theirs."
U.S. Senate Democrats said on Wednesday that they will not consider a House bill to end a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration and threatened to extend the dispute throughout the summer.