Obama to Empty Congress: End FAA Shutdown

But there's no one in town to do it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2011 7:58 AM CDT
A fence secures the perimeter of a half-completed 236-foot FAA control tower at Oakland International Airport on August 3, 2011 in Oakland, California.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The White House called on Congress to end a standoff over the FAA that has put 74,000 people out of work—but there were absolutely no signs it would do so, in part because everyone’s left town. Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama was “looking at different options” for executive action, but it’s unclear that he has any, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama himself said Congress had “decided to play politics” with the issue, and called for a resolution by the weekend.

Several furloughed workers flew to Washington to plead their case, but found hardly anyone to talk to, the Washington Post reports. “We’re staring at a possible six weeks without pay, and they’ll all get nice suntans on their vacations,” one furloughed engineer from Pittsburgh said. Harry Reid has indicated he could live with the House extension despite cuts to rural airports—like those in his state—but others argue that capitulating will embolden the GOP in the next debate. “Nobody believed they would actually walk away from this,” added another worker from Chicago.

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