# News Governance via hostage-taking

1. Aug 4, 2011

The US Congress is again being held up by radicals. Once again, a normally routine procedure is being held up on ideological grounds by the far right. The GOP says that the sticking point is $16M/year in subsidies for air travel to rural communities, but the truth is that we are on track to lose$1.2 Billion this month alone because the GOP has refused to fund the FAA and allow the airlines to collect taxes on air-fare. The sticking point is whether we allow labor in the airlines industry to vote up-or-down on labor issues or whether every uncast vote is counted as a "No" (current practice, contrary to labor law in other sectors). For the sake of killing organized labor in the airline industry, the GOP is willing to forgo $1.2 Billion of revenue this month alone. Where are the adults in this country? For that matter, where are the adults in the media who are not hammering this travesty night after night on the network news? There have been mentions here and there about the tens of thousands of people put out of work because of the halted projects, but I haven't seen any responsible reporting about the real costs of this shutdown. http://news.yahoo.com/more-faa-shutdown-air-subsidies-071241612.html [Broken] Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017 2. Aug 4, 2011 ### mege The real issue is that the Democrat controlled congress has just kicked the can for FAA spending since 2007. Why couldn't they resolve it permanently on their own? Now there's debate, actual difference of opinion and... name calling? Why isn't the left being called radical for their desire to hold onto a thin ruling that overturned a century of organized labor relations in the country? Besides, except for lower ticket prices, has anyone even noticed this shutdown anyhow? Isn't that the kicker? If there was actual on the street impact and travellers were being effected this would be headlines. Unfortunately for the MSM there is no story to benefit their collectivist motives because the story just exposes how the government has 70,000 people on the payroll that are hardly missed. Also, here's some good reads relevent to your title: here and here. 3. Aug 4, 2011 ### WhoWee Your link says the program costs$200 million per year. My guess is this legislation was stalled when John Murtha passed away - Johnstown PA is one of the subsidized locations along with 6 other nearby (of the 12 total) locations including Jamestown NY, Hagerstown, MD, Franklin/Oil City PA, Morgantown WV, Lancaster PA, and Bradford PA. It looks like Harry Reid might have one as well?

Also from your link "A few days ago, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, indicated to Democrats that he'd be willing to accept their extension bill without the subsidy cuts in exchange for concessions on the labor issue, but Democrats refused the offer, Rockefeller said.".

This hardly meets the standard of qualification for your dramatic assertion "The US Congress is again being held up by radicals. Once again, a normally routine procedure is being held up on ideological grounds by the far right." - does it?

4. Aug 4, 2011

Yes, it does. Is it acceptable to trade $1.2 Billion/month in lost tax revenue for the sake of preventing airline labor groups the right to have fair votes regarding collective bargaining? So much for the "fiscal conservatives" that the Republicans claim to be. 5. Aug 4, 2011 ### WhoWee Is it acceptable to pass a 2,000 plus page healthcare reform Bill (of unknown cost) without allowing time to read the FINAL copy - the real radicals are Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama - aren't they? These three radicals have our national debt on a$20+Trillion trajectory - don't they - the debt deal only managed to cut $2Trillion of the ADDITIONAL$10Trillion of the radical Pelosi, Reid, and Obama spending.

The Republicans (in your example) wanted the labor issue separated from the funding issue - not a radical concept at all - considering YOU are FOR smaller and more precise Bills.

6. Aug 4, 2011

### WhoWee

By the way - they already agreed to extend a few hours ago.
http://indiana.onpolitix.com/news/66289/reid-announces-faa-agreement [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
7. Aug 4, 2011

### turbo

You are once again changing the subject quite abruptly in order to avoid acknowledging GOP's intransigence and hostage-taking WRT the FAA funding extension. The GOP wanted to force labor in the transportation industry to come up with super-majorities. In other words, in their legislation, if you had 100 workers, and 49 voted to organize, and 48 voted not to, and the other 3 couldn't make it to the ballot box for some reason, those 3 non-votes would count as "no" votes, killing the organization drive 51-49. I live in a state that has town-hall municipal elections, and if every abstention was counted as a "no", NOTHING would ever get approved. No bond issues, no road repairs, no school budgets...nothing. The GOP is dumping money down the sewer to prevent collective bargaining. Is it worth it to you?

8. Aug 4, 2011

### Proton Soup

51 is a simple majority.

are these ballots secret?

9. Aug 4, 2011

### Willowz

Are they?

10. Aug 4, 2011

### WhoWee

First, did you take note of what I said about the passing of John Murtha and the close proximity of 7 of the airports receiving funds - PURE PORK.

Second, I know that YOU are against complicated legislation where this type of situation results. I would think YOU would be happy to separate the issues?

Last, as your link indicates - the Republicans are requiring the labor issue be addressed in Congress (even though Harry Reid refuses to negotiate) - why isn't that acceptable?

"The more politically difficult issue is a GOP proposal to overturn a National Mediation Board rule approved last year that allows airline and railroad employees to form a union by a simple majority of those voting. Under the old rule, workers who didn't vote were treated as "no" votes.

Democrats and union officials say the change puts airline and railroad elections under the same democratic rules required for unionizing all other companies. But Republicans say the new rule reverses 75 years of precedent to favor labor unions.

The GOP labor provision has the backing of the airline industry. The biggest beneficiary would be Delta Air Lines, the largest carrier whose workers aren't primarily union members.

Last month, in comments to the House Rules Committee and separately to reporters, Mica said the labor provision was the only issue standing in the way of the House and Senate reaching an agreement on a long-term FAA bill. He said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has refused to negotiate with Republicans on the issue."

I would think a rule that flies in the face of 75 years of established practice would be called "radical"?

11. Aug 4, 2011

### WhoWee

Clearly.

12. Aug 4, 2011

### turbo

51 is NOT a simple majority when you game the rules to make the vote of every eligible but unavailable member automatically represent a "no". Have you read any of the articles on this?

13. Aug 4, 2011

BTW, The right is quite disingenuously portraying the the total $200M budget for upgrading and modernizing airports as if it were all being used to subsidize rural air-travel tickets. The fact is that the ticket subsidies are$16M/year, and the remainder of the $200M is used to improve and modernize facilities. By de-funding the FAA, the GOP has thrown 70,000 construction workers and contractors out of work. Not too helpful in a jobless recovery, but then again, the GOP long ago ceased to care about working stiffs. I will point out (hopefully not to the tone-deaf) that de-funding the FAA loses our government as much tax revenue in a WEEK as the entire rural-airports budget (including all modernization projects) cost us in a YEAR. Thanks a ton, Republicans! 14. Aug 4, 2011 ### WhoWee Hasn't this been the practice for 75 years - hardly the definition of "gaming the rules" - quite the opposite. 15. Aug 4, 2011 ### turbo The fact that the deck has been stacked against transportation workers for a long time makes it right? What a concept! 16. Aug 4, 2011 ### WhoWee Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017 17. Aug 4, 2011 ### turbo I can pull up all the Murtha pork articles that I like. If you want to want to bring up a very powerful Washington figure that gamed the transportation department, I will point you to Ted Stevens. The fact is that underserved rural areas might need some help establishing air-links, especially when the region is ripe for development and would benefit from links to regional or hub airports. Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017 18. Aug 4, 2011 ### turbo Also, let's stick to the facts. The entire rural air program (including construction/modernization costs) is about$200M/year. Republican hostage-taking of the FAA funding bill is costing us $200M/week. 19. Aug 4, 2011 ### WhoWee This legislation involves seven (7) airports in or near Murtha's district. 20. Aug 4, 2011 ### mege So potentially... if only 10 of 5000 voted in the election, 6 people saying 'yes' can force$1000+/yr in dues to the other 4990?

That doesn't seem right and seems like a great opportunity for some of the worst corruption this coutnry has ever seen (and is seeing).