The effects of the U.S. government budget cuts that started on March 1 will not likely be felt until April but they could be significant for airlines and their passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency will absorb the mandated spending cuts known as the “sequester” in part by furloughing employees, or requiring them to take several days of unpaid leave.
Presidency of Barack Obama
When then President-elect Barack Obama named retiring Republican congressman Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) to become his first secretary of transportation on Dec. 19, 2008, it raised more than a few eyebrows on both sides of the legislative aisle. But political blood proved thicker than water.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced to DOT employees this morning that he will not be staying on for a second term. The former seven-term Congressman was the lone Republican in President Obama’s first Cabinet. During his four years as DOT secretary, LaHood was Obama’s point man for increased infrastructure spending to help heal the economy. He said he will stay on until his successor is confirmed.
Washington, D.C., seems to be a city that is in perpetual crisis. Now the U.S. government is in conniptions over the “fiscal cliff.” Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke coined that metaphor to describe the tax increases and automatic spending cuts that kick in on January 2 unless Democrats and Republicans somehow tame the $16 trillion national debt.
The divided U.S. government edged closer to the so-called the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and automatic spending cuts that will be imposed on January 2 unless political parties reach agreement on a package to reduce the country’s $16 trillion national debt. With 25 days remaining before the measures take effect, the parties were at a stalemate.
If automatic federal budget cuts known as “sequestration” take effect in January, the Obama Administration and the FAA could ramp up efforts to impose aviation user fees to plug the gap, NBAA fears. Under sequestration, the FAA budget could be cut by $1 billion annually, according to an Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) study released on Monday.
When President Obama signed the four-year FAA reauthorization bill on February 14, he put an end to more than four years of foot-dragging and often contentious debate, along with a record 23 short-term extensions of the FAA’s operating authorization and ability to levy and collect aviation excise taxes, since the last four-year reauthorization expired in the fall of 2007.
As members of Congress are fond of saying when an onerous bill hits their desks, President Obama’s renewed call for a $100 user fee for turbine aircraft flights in “controlled” airspace probably will be “dead on arrival” on Capitol Hill. The per-flight user fee is included in the White House’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget of $3.8 trillion that was released on Thursday.
In the wake of the White House response to an online petition opposing President Obama’s $100-per-flight fee proposal, AOPA is calling on its members to contribute to its Political Action Committee “to help our friends in Congress.” Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the 400,000-plus-member organization, issued a stark warning that the White House proposal “must be defeated if general aviation as we know it is to s
Business aviation may still be brimming with righteous indignation over recent attacks by President Barack Obama (in the row over bonus depreciation) and The Wall Street Journal (over the Block Aircraft Registration Request issue), but it now faces bigger and more tangible problems.