If you haven’t already, you will soon hear that the Republicans in the House “shut down” the FAA causing thousands to be furloughed, and hundreds of projects stopped. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We told you about the problem here. But, just to refresh your recollection, on July 20 the House passed a short term authorization bill that would have continued funding for the FAA through the August Congressional recess. Senator Harry Reid (D. Nv.) refused to bring the bill before the Senate because some of his constituents, as well as those of Senators Max Baucus (D. Mt.) and Jay Rockefeller (D. W.V.) would lose their nifty federal subsidies for air travel.
Now that Congress is in recess, Democrats are blaming the Republicans for the shut down.
Democrats though cast the dispute not as one that is about cost-cutting, but one that involves efforts by the GOP to overturn a National Mediation Board labor provision dealing with unionization efforts by airline workers.
When you hear this, don’t believe it. The above link quotes the language of the House version of the FAA extension. No where in the bill is there even a mention of the National Mediation Board, much less airline workers unionization. That concept is something that the Republicans in the House want to address long term, but, it is not in the short term extension.
So, all of those people who have lost their jobs have no one to thank but Senators Reid, Baucus and Rockefeller, no matter how much the Democrats want to spin it.
But, since I am here, let me explain the “labor” dispute. For 76 years the National Mediation Board, which has authority over airline unionization, has had a rule in place that requires that 50% of all employees sought to be unionized must agree before the union is recognized. Quietly, the Obama administration changed that rule to say that only 50% of those who voted are needed for recognition…a far lesser standard.
If the rule has worked for 76 years through an assortment of administrations, could someone please explain why that rule now is suddenly obsolete?
UPDATE: Stephen Hayes confirms what the SOS knows to be true. But even more so … The republicans are just asking that the Democrats pass an extension they already passed … in February.