Tags: Cantor | FAA | funding

Rep. Cantor: Senate FAA Delay 'Par for the Course'

Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 03:04 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the Democratic Senate going on summer break without acting on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding is “pretty much par for the course” for the legislative body since Republicans took over the House. Cantor also said Wednesday on Fox News the issue grounding the FAA was not unionization, but unneeded subsidies to rural airports.
“Well, the Senate left town — failed to act — and it is pretty much par for the course. What we have seen over the last year in the Senate is, it is very difficult for them to get anything done,” Cantor told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “The House passed the bill to extend the funding for the FAA. But what we did is we said: ‘Look, like everything else, we need to try and affect some reforms and reduce the spending. ‘

“We all know we are spending too much money — spending money we don’t have. So that is what was in the House bill, and the Senate has refused to go along with it,” the Virginia Republican said.

Cavuto asked if the issue of whether FAA employees can unionize was not the sticking point in getting a Senate bill passed. Cantor said unionization was a separate issue and had nothing to do with extending funding or the FAA's partial shutdown.

“The issue about organization for labor has to do with being fair to both sides — and if you are going to be fair to both sides, you ought to give both the employees, as well as the employer, equal opportunity to make the case,” Cantor said.”But, again, that is separate from this. This issue has to do with subsidies that the federal government is paying for what is called Essential Air Service to smaller communities around the country.

“And you have instances where the federal government is actually subsidizing a per- passenger rate of over $3,000 per passenger — now, you have got to wonder why we are doing that,” he said.  “If you have got to subsidize to that extent, maybe that community is close enough to some other airport that people could see their way to flying out of.”

Cavuto then turned to the debt-reduction agreement and asked Cantor whether he was satisfied with the outcome.

“Well, I think, Neil, nobody is really happy with this agreement — I certainly would say it is not perfect at all — and we have got a lot of work to do to implement even that,” Cantor said. “But all along, we had insisted that there not be any tax increases — and there are no tax increases in the bill. We had insisted, as the speaker had gone out and said consistently, that we have got to have at least as many cuts as that amount that we were going to raise the debt ceiling — that is the case with this measure as well.

“And, also, we have an opportunity to keep the issue of deficit spending on the table, to keep the issue of job-killing policies that this spending is promoting on the table — and this president has got to come and defend that to the American people,” he said.

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