REDUCING FLIGHT DELAYS ACT OF 2013
(House of Representatives - April 26, 2013)

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[Pages H2364-H2374]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                   REDUCING FLIGHT DELAYS ACT OF 2013

  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 1765) to provide the Secretary of Transportation with the 
flexibility to transfer certain funds to prevent reduced operations and 
staffing of the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other 
purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1765

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Reducing Flight Delays Act 
     of 2013''.

     SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER CERTAIN FUNDS TO PREVENT 
                   REDUCED OPERATIONS AND STAFFING OF THE FEDERAL 
                   AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding division G of the 
     Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 
     (Public Law 113-6), any other provision of law, or a 
     sequestration order issued or to be issued by the President 
     pursuant to section 251A(7)(A) of the Balanced Budget and 
     Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901a(7)(A)), 
     the Secretary of Transportation may transfer during fiscal 
     year 2013 an amount equal to the amount specified in 
     subsection (c) to the appropriations account providing for 
     the operations of the Federal Aviation Administration, for 
     any activity or activities funded by that account, from--
       (1) the amount made available for obligation in that fiscal 
     year as discretionary grants-in-aid for airports pursuant to 
     section 47117(f) of title 49, United States Code; or

[[Page H2365]]

       (2) any other program or account of the Federal Aviation 
     Administration.
       (b) Availability and Obligation of Transferred Amounts.--An 
     amount transferred under subsection (a)(1) shall--
       (1) be available immediately for obligation and expenditure 
     as directly appropriated budget authority; and
       (2) be deemed as obligated for grants-in-aid for airports 
     under part B of subtitle VII of title 49, United States Code, 
     for purposes of complying with the limitation on incurring 
     obligations during that fiscal year under the heading 
     ``Grants-in-Aid for Airports'' under title I of the 
     Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related 
     Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (division C of Public Law 
     112-55; 125 Stat. 647), and made applicable to fiscal year 
     2013 by division F of the Consolidated and Further Continuing 
     Appropriations Act, 2013 (Public Law 113-6).
       (c) Amount Specified.--The amount specified in this 
     subsection is the amount, not to exceed $253,000,000, that 
     the Secretary of Transportation determines to be necessary to 
     prevent reduced operations and staffing of the Federal 
     Aviation Administration during fiscal year 2013 to ensure a 
     safe and efficient air transportation system; and provided 
     that none of the funds transferred under this subsection may 
     be obligated unless the Secretary notifies the Committees on 
     Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate 
     at least 5 days in advance of such transfer.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hultgren). Pursuant to the rule, the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham) and the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. 
Pastor) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Iowa.


                             General Leave

  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the consideration of H.R. 1765.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Iowa?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I come today with H.R. 1765, a bill to provide up to 
$253 million from the Airport Improvement Program--or any other account 
in the FAA--to the Operations Account. The purpose of this transfer 
authority is to restore reliable and safe service in the commercial air 
traffic system by reducing or eliminating employee furlough days.
  I think we all agree the FAA and the administration has handled the 
sequester poorly. The FAA has negotiated in bad faith with the FAA 
employees, the airlines, the flying public, and the Congress. And the 
administration has played shameful politics with sequestration at the 
cost to hardworking American families. As I have often said, this is 
simply no way to run a government.
  But the Congress is stepping in to correct the problems created by 
the administration's inaction. We're taking this step because of the 
gross mismanagement of this important function for the safety of all 
Americans who fly and on behalf of the commerce that depends on a 
reliable air system. We are taking this action to end the 
administration's political games that threaten our passenger rights and 
safety.
  The fact that we're here today trying to solve this problem is as a 
result of the sequester. I remind you that the President brought the 
sequester to the table. And in an effort to avoid the arbitrary $1.2 
trillion of cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, twice the majority 
in this House has passed commonsense legislation that would have 
replaced the sequestration with targeted spending cuts of an equal 
dollar amount.

                              {time}  1100

  Unfortunately, the Senate never considered either of these bills, and 
thus the sequestration was triggered.
  Further, this situation goes to show that we need to return to 
regular order and consider appropriation bills in their entirety and 
not rely on continuing resolutions to fund the government.
  Under a CR, there is no way for us to prioritize cuts or protect 
programs related to the safety of the American public. It also goes to 
show that we must have a long-term, comprehensive solution to our 
budget challenges, one that solves the sequester and provides 
sustainability and stability in the Federal budget.
  Mr. Speaker, I put the administration, the Secretary, and the agency 
on alert that we are watching. We have questions, and we want answers 
about how you're using these funds and how you're going to be managing 
the rest of our Department. Like I said at the FAA hearing this last 
Wednesday, the safety of our air space cannot be subject to political 
posturing.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  (Mr. PASTOR asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I will tell my dear friend, Chairman Latham, 
that we agree on one thing, and this is the notion that this is not a 
good way to run a government. But I have to remind him and remind all 
my colleagues that about 1\1/2\ years ago we were in this House, in 
this Chamber, talking about the budget--the Budget Control Act, as I 
remember. So about 1\1/2\ years ago we had a vote.
  I did not support the legislation because I felt that sequestration 
was a bad idea; but the House passed the bill, the Senate passed the 
bill, and the President signed it. So, for me, it's very difficult to 
lay blame on any one party because this was done in a bipartisan 
manner. It is very difficult for me to lay blame on one Chamber because 
both Chambers passed the bill. And it's very difficult for me to blame 
the administration for signing it because this was an action taken in 
the House, the Senate, and signed by the President. I thought it was a 
bad idea, but the majority felt it was a better idea, and they went 
forward.
  Now, I have to tell you that Administrator Huerta was before our 
subcommittee this week. He detailed the cuts that he had to make based 
on the rules and regulations of the various laws that deal with 
sequestration. That is why 149 contract towers were recommended to be 
shut--but they remained open because of a lawsuit--and that is why we 
had to furlough the FAA air traffic controllers.
  In his testimony, Administrator Huerta reminded us that in February 
of this year a letter was sent by Secretary LaHood to the leadership, 
including me and Chairman Latham, that the sequestration was going to 
cause problems in the efficiency of the air traffic control system 
because there would be a furlough of air traffic controllers in order 
to meet the cuts that were required by sequestration. That was done in 
February.
  In March, when sequestration was invoked, the FAA had to then 
implement a plan to see what it had to do to meet the number of cuts it 
had to make, but not to take away the safety of our air traffic control 
system, knowing that its efficiency would be diminished. And so today, 
we are here bringing a fix to this situation. Furloughs have been 
taken; 10 percent of the employees are furloughed. And that has 
resulted, to the passengers' inconvenience, in delays or canceled 
flights.
  The problem is--and I agree with my chairman--that this solution is 
not a good solution because there are other agencies that have to make 
their cuts and are in a crisis themselves. So, hopefully, when we come 
back from our district work period, there won't be another agency, 
another crisis that we have to start shifting money from one account to 
save another account.
  Mr. Speaker, the solution is a comprehensive removal of the 
sequestration. That will only come about, in my belief and in my 
opinion, if the House, with its budget, and the Senate, with its 
budget, will conference and work out the details that it needs to work 
out to have a comprehensive solution, not just to our budget, but also 
to sequestration. That needs to be done in order that we're not dealing 
with issue by issue, crisis by crisis.
  So I agree with my chairman that this is not a good way to run a 
government, but this morning I ask my colleagues to support this 
legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Last Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration began to impose the 
furloughs that were required as a result of sequestration.
  The FAA has had to cut a total of $637 million from its annual 
budget; $485 million of that amount had to be cut from its operations 
account.
  However, the deep cuts required by sequestration still forced the FAA 
to shut down nearly

[[Page H2366]]

150 contract towers and furlough each of the agency's employees for one 
day a pay period for the remainder of the fiscal year. That meant that 
every affected employee would lose as much as 11 days of pay.
  The FAA operates seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. It 
should have surprised no one that removing 10 percent of the workforce 
on any given day was going to have serious impacts on our air traffic 
control system.
  Without a complete workforce on hand, the FAA had to take measures to 
slow down the efficiency of the air traffic control system in order to 
ensure that safety of the system was not ever compromised.
  Since last Sunday when the furloughs began, there have been nearly 
3,500 delayed flights due to staffing reductions. As a result, 
thousands of passengers have been inconvenienced by long delays or 
cancelled flights. As my colleagues will recall, Secretary La Hood 
warned us of these impacts back in February.
  The bill before us provides additional flexibility to the Federal 
Aviation Administration to help avoid the furloughs required by 
sequestration. Specifically, it takes carryover discretionary funds 
from the airport grant program and allows those funds to be used for 
FAA operations.
  This bill is drafted as a one-time fix for one year. It does not 
eliminate a penny of the $637 million in cuts that the FAA has to make 
because of sequestration. It simply shifts where the cuts will be 
taken.
  At a time when we need to maintain our infrastructure, we should not 
make a practice of reducing capital programs to address operational 
shortfalls.
  The bill before us does nothing to address the sequestration cuts 
that the FAA will have to make in Fiscal Year 2014 and beyond.
  We need to find a comprehensive solution to sequestration. The 
American people deserve better.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time is 
remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Iowa has 17 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Arizona has 14 minutes remaining.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I would now yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. Hudson).
  Mr. HUDSON. Mr. Speaker, unfortunately for this administration, the 
term ``sequestration'' has become synonymous with ``fear.''
  I've been extremely disappointed that the FAA chose to close the 
contract control towers at 149 airports across this country, including 
my home town of Concord, North Carolina. This airport is the third 
busiest airport in North Carolina. It was named by the Government 
Accounting Office as an Airport of National Significance because it is 
a reliever airport for Charlotte-Douglas, which is the sixth busiest 
airport in the world.
  The decision to close these towers at a savings of $50 million is 
hard to understand when you consider the fact that the FAA requested 
$15.1 billion for fiscal year 2013 and through sequester it's actually 
receiving $15.9 billion--an actual increase over the amount of money 
the FAA said they needed to operate. So I can only conclude that their 
goal here is to try to make sequester cuts as painful as possible for 
the American people.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. LATHAM. I yield the gentleman 30 seconds.
  Mr. HUDSON. I thank the gentleman for the time.
  I will just conclude by saying I support this bill because it ends 
the political games by giving the Secretary the flexibility that he 
needs to keep these contract towers open. So I would encourage the 
Secretary to do that for the safety and for the economy of our local 
communities.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise in 
opposition to this piece of legislation.
  The Editorial Board of USA Today was scathing yesterday in its 
assessment of where the blame for this sequester should lie, and I 
quote:

       No Members of Congress should be surprised at the havoc 
     wrought by the sequester. After all, they caused it, and 
     Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood repeatedly warned them 
     about its sentences.

  But flight delays are just the tip of the iceberg visible above the 
water line for most Americans. As time goes on without a big, balanced 
deficit solution to replace the sequester, more of that iceberg will 
surface. More Americans will be negatively affected.
  While I want to end these delays for passengers in Maryland and 
across the country, I will oppose this bill because it fails to address 
the whole impact of the sequester.
  Let me share just a handful of examples of how the sequester will 
affect Americans:
  Education: Head Start--70,000 children will be kicked out of Head 
Start. Nothing in this bill deals with them.

                              {time}  1110

  Furloughs to cause delays in processing retirement disability claims. 
Nothing in this bill deals with them.
  Nutrition for Vulnerable Populations--4 million fewer Meals on Wheels 
for seniors; 600,000 people dropped off WIC. Nothing in here for them.
  Housing--125,000 fewer HUD rental assistance vouchers. Nothing in 
here for them.
  Unemployment Insurance--emergency unemployment insurance cut 11 
percent for 2 million out-of-work Americans. Nothing in here for them.
  FDA--2,100 fewer food safety inspections, an 18 percent cut; longer 
waits to approve new drugs. Nothing in here for them. Nothing in here 
for them.
  Defense and Homeland Security--furloughs equivalent to 1,000 fewer 
Federal agents, FBI, Border, et cetera, on the job; one-third of combat 
air units are grounded. Nothing in here for them.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 
seconds.
  Mr. HOYER. IRS--89,000 agency-wide furloughs up to 7 days, including 
taxpayer-assistance centers. Nothing in here for them. They serve 
89,000 taxpayers trying to find help.
  We ought not to be mitigating the sequester's effect on just one 
segment when children, the sick, our military, and many other groups 
who will be impacted by this irresponsible policy are left unhelped. 
Instead of dressing this serious wound with a small Band-Aid, let's get 
to work on a real solution. Let's go to conference, let's get a big 
deal, let's deal with all the adverse consequences of sequester, not 
just those that affect the powerful air travelers of America. We ought 
to help them, but we ought to help everybody else as well.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  It's fascinating that the administration that insisted on the 
sequestration----
  Mr. HOYER. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. LATHAM. The gentleman just spoke.
  Supported the sequestration. And so now to come and make a statement 
is quite fascinating.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Reed).
  Mr. REED. I would like to thank the gentleman from Iowa for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the underlying bill.
  Before I make my comments, I would just ask my colleague, a good 
friend of mine from Maryland, we have an opportunity today to send a 
signal to America that we have a bicameral, a Senate-passed bill, and 
here in the House we are considering a bill that will address an issue 
that needs to be addressed on behalf of American citizens. Let us start 
here on a bipartisan fashion to solve the problems for hardworking 
taxpayers and worry about D.C. over those concerns of the people back 
home.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the underlying bill because I have 
heard from my constituents, in particular, the city of Ithaca in 
upstate New York, where a contract tower is going to be closed. And 
what this bill does is it restores that funding on a commonsense basis 
where that contract tower--my sincere hope and belief--will be 
preserved and go forward. That will preserve the safety of my air-
traveling public out of that airport and also the local economic 
opportunity that it represents for the city of Ithaca.
  I'm proud to stand here today and say, because of bipartisan efforts, 
we worked together to solve this issue. Let's pass this bill and move 
forward.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

[[Page H2367]]

  Let me inform my friend from Iowa that he absolutely misstates my 
position. I have been against the sequester every year I was on the 
Appropriations Committee for 23 years, these across-the-board cuts. I 
opposed your Cut, Cap, and Balance bill, which you supported, which had 
sequester as the alternative.
  The President is against sequester, the Senate budget is against 
sequester, and you would not allow us to offer an amendment four times, 
which would have precluded sequester, not only for air travel, but for 
those Head Start children, for those senior citizens, for basic 
biomedical research.
  So I tell my friend, if you are going to state the facts, state them 
correctly.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to address their 
remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Price).
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, hypocrisy is reaching new 
heights today in this body. Many of the same Members who said ``bring 
it on'' as sequestration loomed, who relished forcing the President to 
make across-the-board cuts, are now in a rush to apply another Band-Aid 
to this artificially created crisis.
  Speaker Boehner said the sequestration bill included 98 percent of 
what Republicans wanted. But Republicans spurned a budget agreement, 
valuing their antitax ideology more than defense or any other cuts. As 
a result, sequestration fell. Now they claim: Oh, it doesn't need to 
hurt very much. And when the cuts bite, then they say the President 
must be doing this just to make a political point!
  So sequestration apparently wasn't supposed to be about air traffic 
control? The Read the Bill Caucus needs to read the bill. It was about 
air traffic control, and today we are going to apply a much needed 
Band-Aid.
  Maybe tomorrow we can have a bill applying to cancer research. Then 
the next day let's have a bill about cancer treatments. Then the next 
day let's apply a Band-Aid to Head Start. Then let's have one about 
tuition assistance to our military personnel. Then let's have one about 
the Border Patrol. And, by the way, if and when we apply these Band-
Aids, we need to realize we're often shifting cuts to equally important 
areas that aren't in the news at the moment or that don't have powerful 
lobbies working on their behalf.
  My colleagues, I want to address these crises as much as any Member. 
I want to contain the damage, but damage control is not a budget 
policy. Sequestration is a self-inflicted wound, unworthy of those who 
profess to govern. It's hypocritical and misleading, having imposed 
indiscriminate cuts on the administration, to pretend that the 
President could fix this problem with a flick of the wrist.
  Sequestration is a disaster. It needs to be reversed. It needs to be 
replaced by a comprehensive budget plan that includes tax expenditures 
and entitlements, which after all are the real drivers of the deficit.
  Mr. LATHAM. I would now like to yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Cotton).
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to encourage my colleagues to 
pass this measure to stop President Obama's needless furlough of air 
traffic controllers. Further, this legislation empowers the FAA to 
restore funding to 150 towers operated by private contractors around 
the country.
  The FAA furloughs have received most of the media attention this 
week, but we shouldn't overlook the role these contractor-operated 
towers play in our Nation's aviation infrastructure in communities like 
Texarkana, Arkansas. These airports handle almost 30 percent of all 
aviation traffic, providing vital relief to some of our most congested 
airports.
  The importance of these towers can't be overstated, which is why 
earlier this year I introduced legislation with 59 bipartisan 
cosponsors to restore the funding for these towers. I am confident the 
FAA will use the authority of this bill not only to end the needless 
furloughs, but also to restore funding for these essential contractor-
operated air traffic control towers.
  Again, I want to thank my colleagues for their support for this 
measure.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, before I yield time, I would like 
to remind my colleague that this bill passed the House, the Senate, and 
was signed by the President. That was what brought us sequestration.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to our Democratic leader from 
California (Ms. Pelosi).
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  This is really a very unusual morning. We are here because of the 
refusal of the Republicans to come to the table for a conference. What 
is a conference? A conference is a public open meeting where 
differences between the House budget bill and the Senate budget bill 
can be reconciled. It is done with transparency and in full public 
view. Each side proud of our priorities, we have the American people be 
the judge of what is their statement of values.
  Afraid of that public scrutiny, the Republicans have refused to 
appoint conferees for a conference--conferees for a conference. We call 
upon the Speaker to appoint conferees so that we can have that public 
airing, that transparent view, of something very important.
  The Republican leadership has said in the House and the Senate they 
want the regular order. What is the regular order?

                              {time}  1120

  The regular order is the House passes a bill; the Senate passes a 
bill; you go to conference. Now, afraid that their views may be 
rejected by the American people, they don't want to go to conference. 
That's why we are here this morning for sequestration.
  What is sequestration?
  Sequestration is a mindless, across-the-board cutting of what we are 
now recognizing--and the Republicans are recognizing--as something that 
should not be cut. It affects the efficiency and the safety of our 
airports. That's very important. Yet, as our distinguished Democratic 
whip, Mr. Hoyer, has pointed out, there is much more that needs to be 
addressed instead of using this as a vehicle.
  One of the distinguished chairmen said earlier that the safety of our 
airports should not be subject to political debate. Neither should the 
education of our children, the nutrition for our seniors--4 million 
Meals on Wheels, tens of thousands of children thrown off Head Start. 
Our defense--mindless across-the-board cuts in our defense, and what 
that means for our national security and for the workers in our 
national security sector--the list goes on and on. Investments in our 
future--biomedical research, cut by this.
  So I suppose, if this is an example of governance, that the 
Republicans will next come up with something else and will say we 
should exempt that. Why don't we just get rid of the problem? Why don't 
we just get rid of the problem and go to conference?
  Some of the press said to me, Does this hurt your leverage in going 
to conference?
  I said, No. This is an opportunity because it demonstrates to the 
American people how unwise this course of action is and how much better 
it would be to find solutions, to get results in the regular order--
respectful of everyone's point of view but recognizing that decisions 
made here will have an impact, not only in the lives of the children 
and in the lives of their teachers and in the lives of all consumers, 
but on our economy as well.
  This should be a clarion call. It's almost ludicrous to hear my 
Republican colleagues get up there and talk about their individual 
airports. Most of us have airports. We understand what this issue is 
about.
  Why don't you understand that there is a great deal at stake, 
including the efficiency and the safety of our airports as well as the 
education of our children?
  How can we sit there and say 4 million Meals on Wheels for seniors, 
gone? But that's not important. Over 70,000 children off Head Start. 
But that's not important.
  What is important is for the Republicans to hold a hard line about 
the public debate about the budget that a conference would provide. The 
Members will vote the way they're going to vote on this, but recognize 
that this is not the way Congress should be meeting the needs of the 
American people. Let's go to conference.
  Mr. Speaker, appoint conferees so we can end this mindless 
sequestration.

[[Page H2368]]

                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will remind all persons in the 
gallery that they are here as guests of the House and that any 
manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings or other 
audible conversation is in violation of the rules of the House.
  Mr. LATHAM. I now yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Dent).
  Mr. DENT. I do support this legislation.
  In our T-HUD subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, FAA Administrator 
Huerta admitted that he saw no administrative flexibility to help the 
flying public, so we're giving him that flexibility now with this bill.
  The FAA blind-sided the airlines, the airports, the unions, and the 
flying public by failing to properly notify them specifically about the 
implementation of the sequester. They only notified them about 1 week 
ago about the specifics. That's outrageous. That's mismanagement.
  This bill fixes the problem at the FAA by keeping air traffic 
controllers working and the towers operating. This legislation provides 
the flexibility the FAA needs, and it should have been asked for by the 
administration. Again, it's a classic case of mismanagement, and I am 
pleased to support the legislation.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the ranking 
member of the authorizing committee, the gentleman from West Virginia 
(Mr. Rahall).
  Mr. RAHALL. I thank the gentleman from Arizona.
  I rise in support of H.R. 1765.
  As the flight delays mounted this week due to the furlough and as 
many Republicans claim that the FAA had the flexibility to avoid this 
disruption and that politics were at play, gee, that's kind of like 
calling the kettle black.
  Just last month, in March, many of these same Members recognized the 
across-the-board nature of the sequester when a provision was included 
in the transportation bill to avoid the furlough of meat inspectors who 
would otherwise have been furloughed. Nothing has changed in the 
sequester law since last month. My good friend, Secretary of 
Transportation Ray LaHood, is an honorable man, and I take issue with 
those who have alleged that he is playing politics with the sequester.
  Now, to those who have expressed concern over the piecemeal approach 
in addressing the chilling effects of the sequester, I share your 
concerns. I share the concerns of others who are being burdened by the 
sequester, such as a child thrown out of the Head Start or seniors 
depending on Meals on Wheels.
  But let me be clear: the rash of delays that we witnessed this week 
as the sequester began to take effect is not just an inconvenience to 
business or vacation travelers; we are talking about emergency medical 
services that transport patients with time-sensitive medical 
emergencies.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1765, which I view as an 
emergency measure to address the effect of the sequester on the 
integrity of our aviation transportation system.
  As the flight delays mounted this week due to the furlough of about 
1,500 air traffic controllers a day--40% of the workforce--many 
Republicans claimed that the FAA had the flexibility to avoid this 
disruption and that politics were at play.
  That is like calling the kettle black.
  Just last month, in March, many of these same Members recognized the 
across-the-board nature of the sequester when a provision was included 
in the appropriations bill to avoid the furlough of meat inspectors who 
would otherwise have been furloughed.
  Nothing has changed in the sequester law since last month. My good 
friend, the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, is an honorable 
man. I take issue with those who have alleged that he is playing 
politics with the sequester.
  Neither he nor the Administrator of the FAA are guilty of nothing 
more, and nothing less, the hand that Congress forced on them.
  Now, to those on my side of the aisle, who have expressed concerns 
over a piecemeal approach to addressing the chilling effects of the 
sequester, I share your concerns.
  I share your concerns for others who are being burdened by the 
sequester, such as the child thrown out of Head Start or seniors 
depending on Wheels on Meals.
  But let me be clear. The rash of flight delays we have witnessed this 
week as the sequester began to take effect is not just an inconvenience 
to business or vacation travelers.
  There is an even more serious concern here, and while it is one that 
has not manifested yet, if the present situation continues unabated it 
could potentially have lethal results.
  Aircraft provide emergency medical services that transport patients 
with time-sensitive medical emergencies, organs, blood products and 
pediatric patients.
  Time-sensitive drugs and emergency aid cannot afford to be delayed 
because of the air traffic control system. These medical air services 
need to be able to operate without delay 24 hours a day and 385 days a 
year.
  I urge support of the pending measure.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster).
  Mr. SHUSTER. I thank the gentleman.
  I rise in support of H.R. 1765 so that we can stop this needless pain 
on the American traveling public and our economy.
  The administration and the FAA have refused for months to provide us 
with a plan to work with the airline industry in order to figure out 
how this could be implemented without all of this pain to the traveling 
public and to our economy.
  I'd like to remind my colleagues that this industry provides $1 
trillion to our economy, so it's extremely important to the hardworking 
men and women of America that our airlines and our folks are getting 
where they need to be on time and without delay. This is very, very 
damaging to the economy.
  Again, I believe this has been mismanaged, and I believe that this 
bill will force the administration to stop these needless furloughs so 
that we can continue making sure that the airline industry is 
functioning in order to keep our economy growing stronger and to allay 
the safety concerns of the traveling public.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Washington (Mr. Larsen).
  Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Before we start patting each other on the 
back for this bill, I think it's important that we recognize that we 
are not fixing the bigger problems that the sequester has created.
  Earlier this month, The Bellingham Herald reported that Head Start 
students in my district will have to begin finding their own way to 
school as bus service is being cut because of the sequester. Perhaps 
now we can ask these 4-year-olds to ride their tricycles to class or, 
because of this bill, maybe book a flight.
  Children in military families at NAS Whidbey Island are going to go 
to schools where budgets are being cut because of reductions in Impact 
Aid mandated by sequestration, but we're not doing anything to help 
those kids today. We are not helping seniors in Arlington, Washington, 
who are getting Meals on Wheels no longer delivered to them.
  This is not just my district. Every Member of this House represents a 
district whose kids and seniors are being hurt thanks to our failure to 
clean up the mess we caused. This lands somewhere short of a profile in 
courage. This is a Band-Aid, and sequestration needs triple bypass 
surgery. Sequestration is a little bit like the person who kicks a 
boulder and then blames the boulder for his broken toe. Congress 
created this problem. We need to fix it.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you to the gentleman from Iowa.
  I'd like to first thank the Senate for sending this piece of 
legislation over to us to provide a fix, a fix that isn't necessary to 
provide, but the administration through a lack of leadership is proving 
that we have to do this now.
  We are here today because this administration has decided to put 
politics over passengers. From the very beginning of sequestration, 
this administration and its departments have claimed that they did not 
have the flexibility to avoid cuts that would affect Americans the 
most. The proposed tower closings and the FAA furloughs that were 
announced this week, they're not just wrong--they are irresponsible and 
indefensible.

[[Page H2369]]

  The bottom line is the FAA already has the flexibility that we are 
granting them today, yet they are unwilling to take advantage of that.
  So, today, we are here because it is time to put an end to the 
excuses and political gimmicks, and we owe it to the American people to 
govern like statesmen by passing this bill in order to get the FAA to 
implement spending cuts responsibly in order to protect the traveling 
public.
  Mr. President, I urge you: tell your administration to grow up.

                              {time}  1130

  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
  (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, we're here this morning because Americans 
are understandably upset at sitting and waiting at airport gates. But 
there are other Americans who are sitting and waiting.
  There are moms sitting and waiting at home to enroll their children 
in Head Start; after this bill, they'll still be waiting.
  There are pilots in our Air Force and Navy sitting and waiting to fly 
their training missions. One-third of our planes are grounded. After 
this bill, they'll still be sitting and they'll still be waiting.
  There are senior citizens who need to go to chemotherapy at 
outpatient clinics around this country, but because of the cutbacks of 
sequestration, their doctors aren't seeing them. After this bill, 
they'll still be sitting; they'll still be waiting.
  This Congress has done too much sitting and too much waiting when it 
comes to sequestration. The Senate has passed a budget that ends 
sequestration. There's an opportunity to sit at a conference, negotiate 
and pass that budget.
  Instead of sitting and waiting, let's start working and negotiating 
and pass the Senate budget.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I would now like to yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica), the former chairman of the 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
  Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
  Why are we here? We're here because of a colossal failure of 
leadership in the ability to manage resources.
  First of all, I can tell you that there are plenty of air traffic 
controllers. Just go online and get this report, ``Plan for the 
Future.'' Some of our airports have far more air traffic controllers 
than we need. In fact, air traffic control for the last 10 years is 
down 27 percent, and we still have close to 15,000 air traffic 
controllers.
  This legislation does provide a fig leaf for the administration who 
said they don't have the authority. I can tell you, they had the 
authority and the ability to move people and resources around, so that 
gives us the opportunity to get the flying public flying again.
  Again, we have the resources, they had the money, and here we're 
giving them the final fig leaf that they have asked for and they say 
they need to get this done.
  I can tell you that if Ronald Reagan were President, we would not be 
in this mess.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Van Hollen).
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, after the vote on this today, Members of 
this House are going to run for the airports. They're all going to be 
flying home on airplanes. And, yes, they will make it easier for 
Members of Congress to get through those lines, and they'll pat 
themselves on the back and say, ``Job well done.''
  Well, obviously we should address the issue at the airports, but we 
need to address the other issues right now and not make it easier for 
Members of Congress to fly home for a week away when it should be a 
week right here making sure we do not see the negative impact of the 
sequester grind on for those kids in Head Start, for the seniors on 
Meals on Wheels, for folks who are doing important lifesaving research.
  Look, Mr. Speaker, four times this year we have offered a proposal to 
replace the entire sequester, to achieve the same deficit reduction 
without the kind of damage that's been done, and four times we haven't 
even had a chance to vote on the floor of this House. Now we're simply 
asking to go to conference. Our Republican colleagues complain that the 
Senate didn't pass the budget, but they've got one.
  Let's go to conference rather than go home.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I would now like to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentlewoman from Minnesota (Mrs. Bachmann).
  Mrs. BACHMANN. I thank Mr. Latham for offering this bill. It's high 
time that the FAA, Mr. Speaker, have the flexibility that they need to 
have on closures of any air traffic control towers.
  It is my hope that St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Anoka-Blaine airports do 
remain open. They're vital and they're much needed. We're looking at 
approximately 189 airports.
  But I want to speak to something else. We were listening to 
Representative Hoyer and Representative Pelosi be extremely passionate 
about the loss that we'll see for children through Head Start, for 
senior citizens on Meals on Wheels, for children who will be dealing 
with various other food nutrition programs. That breaks everyone's 
hearts.
  But I want to remind the people of this country that it was former-
Speaker Pelosi, Representative Hoyer, Senator Reid, and President Obama 
who signed the sequestration bill, and it was Press Secretary Jay 
Carney who admitted that the sequestration was President Obama's idea.
  There are numerous Republicans that voted against the sequestration 
because we knew all of these calamities were in the future. So it 
reminds me of the Shakespeare line: Thou doth protest too much.
  Didn't you know this was going to happen? We knew it. That's why we 
voted against this bill. And it seems like the higher the level of 
passion, it equals the conscience that we are seeing of those who voted 
the wrong way on this bill for the first time.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, before I yield time to my friend, 
I have to remind my colleague that I voted against that bill, and the 
bill passed because there was a majority of Republicans who supported 
it. So we just can't blame one House or one Senate or the President, 
because all of us share the blame in one way or the other.
  Mr. HOYER. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Maryland.
  Mr. HOYER. The Republicans offered their bill. It was called ``Cut, 
Cap, and Balance.'' They voted on that bill before we ever got to 
sequester. In Cut, Cap, and Balance, your alternative, if you didn't 
reach your numbers, was sequester. Sequester was your policy.
  And in the CR that you had Mr. Rogers bring to the floor, which I 
voted against when it went from here to there, as did every Democrat, 
it said it was going to be subject to the sequester or nothing.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlelady from California (Ms. Waters).
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to support H.R. 1765, the Reducing 
Flight Delays Act of 2013.
  I don't want anybody to be mistaken about why I support this bill. I 
want Mrs. Bachmann to understand that we know that she has led the Tea 
Party and the right wing on all of these issues and that she led on the 
discussion on sequestration. It was a bad policy and it should not have 
been adopted by either side of the aisle; however, that is the order of 
the day, and we need to bring the budget to the floor and have a 
conference committee so we can adopt some of what was adopted on the 
Senate side to get rid of the sequestration.
  Meanwhile, the FAA plans to furlough the vast majority of the FAA's 
nearly 47,000 employees, including nearly 15,000 air traffic 
controllers, for approximately 1 day during each 2-week period in order 
to comply with sequestration.
  The furloughs have already begun. They started on April 21, 2013. So 
we're going to be backed up in these airports, and it is time for us to 
understand that this is an emergency. Let's get it over with by passing 
this bill today.

[[Page H2370]]

                              {time}  1140

  Mr. LATHAM. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, how much time do we have 
remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Arizona has 2\1/2\ 
minutes. The gentleman from Iowa has 7\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I will ask my chairman, do you want to even 
out the time? I will reserve my time if you like.
  Mr. LATHAM. Does the gentleman have two more speakers? I just have 
one more. I was going to suggest that you go ahead with your speaker. 
Now I'll have one, you'll have one, and then we can close.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I thank the gentleman.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentlelady from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. This is a hostage-taking, and I know that the 
American people are watching the blame game. But the blame game falls 
clearly on this side of the aisle. My Republican friends held this 
place hostage: we won't pay the debt ceiling; we won't pay our debts.
  Now we're losing 2 million jobs, 4,800 Head Start programs. And I 
believe in air traffic controllers, but we're holding them hostage. 
What about the person who cannot afford an airline ticket? And so I'm 
saying today that it is important that we stand for the millions of 
dollars that we are losing for homeland security. Is it time to take 
millions from military families?
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 900, a one-
sentence bill, that would repeal the section of the Budget Control Act 
of 2011 to get rid of the sequester, go to budget conference, have 
conferees, have a budget, get rid of the sequester. Bring it up now.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 900.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman from Iowa yield for that 
purpose?
  Mr. LATHAM. Yes.
  What was the question if I may?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman from Iowa yield for that 
purpose?
  Mr. LATHAM. No.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me just say this. We have to save 
the traveling public, but I ask the question about 5,000 children in 
Texas that will lose Head Start, or the millions of seniors, or our 
military families that will lose support because we've got the 
sequester, all on the shoulders of those that believe that the way we 
run the Federal Government is by slash and burn. Where are our hearts? 
Help the American people.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Farenthold).
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of rhetoric today 
that sequestration is the problem. I would like to remind you that 
sequestration, that President Obama proposed, was the only solution we 
could agree on to the real problem: the fact that this government is 
spending close to $1.50 for every $1 that it brings in. That being 
said, sequestration came into effect, and we're now having to deal with 
it.
  It was our intent all along to find cuts. We couldn't get agreement 
from the other side to find the cuts. And now, even though 
sequestration is painful, it is working. We see in this bill that we're 
able to take the FAA, get the cuts that need to be made to their budget 
made without affecting flight delays and without furloughing people. It 
is my contention that this can happen all through the government and 
throughout all agencies.
  If these agencies and the President had come back to this Congress 
saying, ``We can do these cuts this way; let us do it,'' I imagine 
almost every one of those would have passed on unanimous consent. They 
certainly probably would have passed on suspension like this one.
  I urge my colleagues to take this first step to solve the problem 
with the FAA, and I look forward to working with other government 
agencies in the Obama administration to find the cuts we need and to 
spare the American people the pain that's intentionally being inflicted 
because some people don't want to cut a dime out of the American 
budget.
  You know, the American people know instinctively there's waste, 
fraud, and abuse in this government and that there are savings to be 
had. And we're going to find it, and we're going to try to do it in the 
best possible way.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from the 
District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).
  Ms. NORTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, Congress did not foresee the controllers' crisis. They 
will not foresee the next one. We have not solved the controllers' 
crisis with money. It was not about money. It was not about cuts. It 
was solved the old-fashioned way. They simply moved money around. This 
is exactly what was done with appropriations that are not having this 
crisis.
  We can solve this if we have a meeting of both sides of the aisle on 
the budget. What would happen at that meeting would probably be not to 
cut a thing, but simply to allow agencies the flexibility to move money 
around, precisely as has been done with the controllers' crisis. Not 1 
cent was changed, just the flexibility, the common sense that we now 
need to put to every single appropriation.
  Mr. LATHAM. Might I inquire of the gentleman from Arizona, you have 
30 seconds left. If you would like to go ahead and close, I will 
reserve at this time.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  I rise to ask my colleagues to support this bill. It is a one-time 
fix in a crisis we are having today with our air traffic system. But I 
join my colleagues, as well as probably my chairman, in asking the 
House leadership, both the Republican leadership and the Democratic 
leadership, to please work on a comprehensive solution to the sequester 
in order that we can bring regular order and get the type of government 
that the American people deserve.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to associate myself with what my good friend and ranking 
member on the subcommittee, Mr. Pastor, just said. We've got to find a 
solution, come to an agreement. This is a horrible way to run a 
government, with sequester. When you take a meat-ax approach to 
departments, there's no common sense. And that's why we need to get 
back to regular order around here and actually do appropriations bills. 
We would avoid these types of potentially catastrophic situations that 
we find ourselves in.
  Mr. Speaker, I would just ask everyone to understand that the Senate 
sent this over last night. It is now an H.R. bill, our bill. The Senate 
will approve it as soon as we pass it in the House here. It is very 
important that we do this for the American people, the traveling 
public, for safety of the system, to make sure that our commerce 
continues. So I would ask everyone to support this bill.
  And let's fix the big problem, and that's come to a budget agreement.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, Is there no one in this chamber who is 
embarrassed? Or perhaps the question should be: Is no one in this 
chamber not embarrassed?
  The Senate panics and passes a bill to correct the failures of a 
small part of the abominable consequences of the ``sequester'' or 
sequestration.
  We are now funding the failures of what we did earlier. With red 
faces and guilty looks, we vote on a quick correction of one important, 
but small, consequence--furloughs at the FAA amongst controllers--and 
now we sneak out of town, believing that we have made the travelling 
public safe.
  Have we? Baloney! A really huge problem still remains unaddressed. 
The budget is a giant mess. Many other perils to our society, to our 
safety, and to the wellbeing of our people are quietly ignored as we 
sneak out of Washington to go home for speeches, campaigning and 
schmoozing with our people.
  How many of us will describe our real failures we leave unaddressed? 
Dangers at the borders, cuts and furloughs to Custom & Border 
Protection, the Department of Homeland Security, and other security 
agencies--all unaddressed.
  Food and Drug Administration--cut, sequestered, and unable to protect 
our people's health and safety.
  Roads, highways, and bridges--all in danger.

[[Page H2371]]

  Law enforcement at risk and with cuts, sequesters, and all that goes 
with those events to fester in our absence.
  Education--our schools, colleges, universities, and research 
facilities are all affected with uncertainty.
  Business, investments, and job creation all delayed because we 
can't--or won't--address our budget problems.
  Almost nothing in government, or the economy, is able to prosper or 
carry out its responsibilities because we cannot, or will not, address 
the budget problems of this Nation, using the sequester as a substitute 
for courage, responsibility, and just good, honest work with compromise 
and cooperation.
  This Republic has prospered for over 200 years because this 
Congress--the House and Senate--and our political parties worked 
together in the public's interest.
  Apparently--No more!
  We now go home, one small matter dealt with.
  How many more are not dealt with? And what will be the consequences?
  As we sneak home shame-facedly it may be that we ourselves will be 
safe from these failures.
  Perhaps we will even be safe politically for a while, but we do not 
deserve to be; and we won't be when people figure out how poorly we do 
the Nation's business.
  We have much to do. This country believes that we should do so, and 
it will demand that we do so.
  Let us buckle down.
  Let us do the job we are paid to do. We have a vital responsibility.
  Let us carry it out.
  Let us get busy and do the Nation's business--now.
  Our responsibility is more important than our ideology.
  I am ashamed. Is the rest of this body ashamed?
  And what will we do about it?
  Mr. HONDA. Mr. Speaker, I regret that I am unable to be in 
Washington, DC today to cast a vote on H.R. 1765, The Reducing Flight 
Delays Act.
  When House Republicans refused to compromise on tax and spending 
issues and raising the statutory debt limit, the Budget Control Act of 
2011 was enacted in order to avert a fiscal crisis. The BCA provided 
for automatic reductions to most federal discretionary spending, 
referred to as ``sequestration,'' if no agreement on deficit reduction 
could be reached. Policy analysts, economic experts and the American 
people agreed that the automatic spending cuts would be so damaging, 
and were such bad policy, that Congress would be compelled to act to 
avoid them. I did not believe that these cuts were the right course of 
action, and so I voted against the BCA.
  Unfortunately (but predictably), Congress was unable to reach 
agreement on a deficit reduction plan, and sequestration went into 
effect on March 1, 2013. As we are now experiencing, sequestration 
requires agencies to reduce non-defense discretionary spending by 5.3 
percent in Fiscal Year 2013. It does not provide any guidance on how 
each agency should go about implementing these cuts, it simply reduces 
spending across the board, impacting all federal programs.
  On March 22, 2013, after carefully weighing competing national 
security interests, public safety concerns, impacts on interstate 
transportation, communication, banking and financial networks, and the 
status of the most critical diversionary airports, the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) announced it would close 149 Federal Contract 
Tower program towers by June 15, 2013. The FAA has also begun to 
implement a series of furloughs of all of its employees, including its 
15,000 air traffic controllers, which has resulted in flight delays 
nationwide.
  As someone who flies across the Continental United States twice each 
week, I share the frustrations and concerns that many Americans have 
about the flight delays due to furloughs and the closure of these 
towers. The nation's air traffic control system is essential for public 
safety, business, and the regulation of national air traffic, and I 
support this legislative effort to ensure that it is able to function 
normally.
  But the measure the House is voting on today is just applying an 
inadequate Band-Aid to the gaping wound that sequestration has 
inflicted on our nation. The flight delays due to furloughs and closure 
of contract towers are some of the first highly visible impacts of 
sequestration, but they highlight the fact that the federal government 
performs many essential services that Americans depend on, and enacting 
indiscriminate cuts to federal funding undoubtedly has a negative 
impact on the government's ability to provide those services.
  I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and 
across the government to protect Americans from the worst impacts of 
sequestration and to undo it altogether.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1765 is a poor substitute for real 
Congressional leadership and pragmatic solutions for the millions of 
Americans impacted by the sequester. Using sequestration, Republicans 
in the House are holding the American public hostage, extracting carve-
outs that serve their own interests while shamefully ignoring the 
people who will be impacted by the billions in remaining cuts.
  While I support putting all of our air traffic controllers back on 
the job so that air transit is as safe and reliable as possible, this 
bill leaves everyone else to suffer the devastating consequences of the 
sequester cuts. Sequestration unduly constrains the ability of Congress 
to deal effectively with America's economic, fiscal, and job creation 
troubles. I support restoring funding for our air traffic control 
officers, but this bill does nothing to relieve the anguish of those 
Americans who cannot afford to buy an airline ticket.
  As a Senior Member of the House Homeland Security Committee I find it 
outrageous that in Texas, approximately 52,000 civilian Department of 
Defense employees would be furloughed. The sequester, which the 
Republicans did nothing to prevent, would undermine the significant 
progress the Department of Homeland Security has made over the past ten 
years and would negatively affect our ability to carry out their vital 
mission.
  Sequestration will eventually roll back border security, increase 
wait times at our Nation's land ports of entry and airports, affect 
aviation and maritime safety and security, leave critical 
infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper disaster response time and 
significantly scale back cyber security infrastructure protections that 
have been developed in recent years.
  Republicans forced Congress to adopt sequestration as a backstop by 
playing a political game of chicken when it came to raising the debt 
ceiling to pay our debts. While we understand and share the concern of 
our Republican colleagues with respect to deficit spending, now is not 
the time to put ideology over pragmatism, and the arbitrary cuts 
imposed by the sequester are not the answer.
  Instead of forcing the average American to pay the price for a 
dysfunctional Washington, give the leaders of both parties the time 
needed to reach some consensus on budget issues.
  Republicans, particularly Members of the Tea Party, need to 
understand that allowing the sequester to continue is worst way to go 
about achieving a long-term debt reduction. Cutting two million jobs 
nationwide and slowing the growth of our gross domestic product by half 
a percent will barely make a dent in our debt, but it will result in 
widespread misery.
  Moreover, it jeopardizes the economic progress that we have worked 
hard to achieve, and even threatens to throw us back into a recession. 
My state of Texas is greatly affected by sequestration. These cuts will 
have a devastating and widespread impact on local communities.
  Texas will lose approximately $67.8 million for primary and secondary 
education, putting around 930 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In 
addition, about 172,000 fewer students would be served and 
approximately 280 fewer schools would receive funding.
  Texas will lose approximately $51 million for about 620 teachers, 
aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for 
approximately 4,800 children in Texas, reducing access to critical 
early education.
  In Texas, approximately 52,000 civilian Department of Defense 
employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $274.8 
million in total.
  Texas will lose about $1,103,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that 
support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and 
education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and 
enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
  Around 83,750 fewer Texans will get the help and skills they need to 
find employment as Texas will lose about $2,263,000 for job search 
assistance, referral, and placement, meaning.
  Up to 2,300 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access 
to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down 
a job.
  In Texas around 9,730 fewer children will receive vaccines for 
diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, 
influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations.
  Violence Against Women Grants: Texas could lose up to $543,000 to 
provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 
2,100 fewer victims being served.
  Texas will lose approximately $2,402,000 to help upgrade its ability 
to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, 
natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological 
events.
  In addition, Texas will lose about $6,750,000 in grants to help 
prevent and treat

[[Page H2372]]

substance abuse, resulting in around 2,800 fewer admissions to 
substance abuse programs. And the Texas State Department of Public 
Health will lose about $1,146,000 resulting un around 28,600 fewer HIV 
tests.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that H.R. 900, the ``Cancel the 
Sequester Act of 2013'' be brought to the floor for a vote.
  This one-sentence bill would end this national nightmare by repealing 
the section of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that imposed 
sequestration and its senseless, job-destroying cuts. If Congress 
cannot or will not come together in bipartisan agreement on a budget, I 
believe we have a duty to avert these catastrophic cuts by repealing 
them.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of legislation to 
give the FAA and DOT flexibility to use unobligated funds to ensure the 
safety of our nation's air transportation system. Specifically I rise 
to affirm the intent of this legislation that grants the Secretary of 
Transportation the ability to use unobligated balances of the Airport 
Improvement Program account to prevent the closure of 149 contract air 
traffic control towers and halt the furloughs of air traffic 
controllers.
  Our nation's air transportation system is a comprehensive network of 
intertwined departments, one of which is the air traffic control towers 
who guide our pilots safely between airports. I want to be very clear, 
maintaining service at all contract air traffic control towers is 
intrinsic to the authority given in this legislation to ensure a safe 
and efficient air transportation system.
  Many Members of Congress have expressed grave concerns over the 
closure of contract towers and furloughs of air traffic controllers, 
both of which contribute to the overall safety of our nation's air 
transportation system. I should also clearly state that the inaction of 
the Department of Transportation to request sequester reprogramming 
authority and maintain some level of service at all contract towers has 
led to this legislation. The safety and efficiency of our skies have 
been put at risk and it has become incumbent upon the Congress to 
direct this authority to the Secretary of Transportation.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of 
legislation we will consider today that will provide the Secretary of 
Transportation with the flexibility to transfer funds to prevent 
reduced operations and staffing of the Federal Aviation Administration. 
It has now been almost two months since the sequestration cuts were 
enacted, and we are in new and unprecedented territory. This week 
alone, approximately 2,800 flights were delayed daily because of the 
Republican majority's refusal to address the effects of the sequester 
sensibly.
  This bill would allow the Department of Transportation to shift $253 
million in funds to the FAA's operations account to prevent the worst 
of these drastic cuts. This is simply a safety issue for the millions 
of passengers who travel our skies. Over the past five days, we have 
seen our national airspace system seriously compromised by the 
furloughs of air traffic controllers and other aviation safety 
professionals. In addition to the very serious safety concerns, the 
inconvenience of passengers, and the loss of wages to these federal 
workers, these delays have slowed commerce at a time when we should be 
doing everything we can to nurture our domestic economy.
  Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that now that the actual effects of 
sequestration are painfully clear, Republican Members of Congress will 
come back to the table, and we can work on a bipartisan, common sense 
approach to ending sequestration.
  Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of legislation to give 
the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, and Department of 
Transportation, DOT, flexibility to use unobligated funds to ensure the 
safety of our nation's air transportation system and American 
travelers. Specifically I rise to affirm the intent of this legislation 
that grants the Secretary of Transportation the ability to use 
unobligated balances of the Airport Improvement Program account to 
prevent the closure of 149 contract air traffic control towers and halt 
the furloughs of air traffic controllers.
  Maintaining service at all contract air traffic control towers is 
inherent to the authority given in this legislation to ensure a safe 
and efficient air transportation system. Over the past seven weeks, 
Congress has seen a swell of reaction to the FAA's decision to furlough 
and lay off hundreds of air traffic controllers across the country. In 
my district in New York, it was announced that the Ithaca Tompkins 
Regional Airport control tower would be closed. Since this 
announcement, residents, local businesses, and employees at the airport 
have flooded my office with feedback that this closure will have 
serious safety and long-term economic impacts in the region.
  Many Members of Congress as well as industry representatives who 
utilize our nation's general aviation system have expressed grave 
concerns over the closure of contract towers and furloughs of air 
traffic controllers, both of which contribute to the overall safety of 
our nation's air transportation system. The inaction of the Department 
of Transportation to request sequester reprogramming authority and 
maintain some level of service at all contract towers is unacceptable 
and has led to the need for this legislation. The safety and efficiency 
of our skies have been put at risk and it has become incumbent upon the 
Congress to direct this authority to the Secretary of Transportation.
  I look forward to working with the FAA and DOT to ensure that the 
Ithaca Tompkins control tower, as well as the other 148 towers across 
the country, remain up and running to ensure our skies are safe.
  Mr. RADEL. Mr. Speaker, the President warned Americans would feel the 
pain of sequestration. What he failed to mention was his White House 
would play politics to guarantee pain was felt. House Republicans told 
the President to prioritize and find places to cut American families 
would not feel. He refused. This is why I am proud to support the 
Reducing Flight Delays Act, correcting the gross incompetence happening 
at the White House to ensure Southwest Floridians see shorter wait 
times at airports.
  Ms. WILSON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, while today's action to stop FAA 
furloughs will reduce delays, 149 of the nation's contract control 
towers are still at risk of closure on June 15th. These towers are not 
only essential for passengers: they're essential for flight training, 
public safety, and small business.
  South Florida's North Perry Airport, which I represent in Congress, 
is one of the key pilot training facilities in the Southeast and an 
important backstop for the region's international airports. Without 
further action, this airport may be forced to close this summer.
  I rise today to affirm that the intent of the Reducing Flight Delays 
Act of 2013 grants Secretary LaHood the authority to use unobligated 
balances of the Airport Improvement Program account to prevent the 
closure of the 149 contract air traffic control towers, including North 
Perry Airport. I call on Secretary LaHood to exercise this option to 
save these essential facilities.
  Now, it's up to Congress to pass a comprehensive bill to stop the 
sequester.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today's vote may be the first of many to 
undo the painful and unfair impact of sequestration on our food safety 
system, housing services, public schools, Head Start programs, our 
transportation programs, and a host of other vital government services. 
However, I fear that a piecemeal approach would represent a 
continuation of the incredibly broken process in Washington, DC. Even 
though I will vote for today's measure, it will be an embarrassment if 
this is the only action we take to reduce these cuts.
  I voted against the Budget Control Act for a reason; sequestration 
was intended to be painful. Picking and choosing programs to restore, 
instead of reforming our budget overall and raising revenue, shirks our 
fundamental responsibility as members of Congress. We must address the 
big picture: we need to cut programs that are irrelevant or even 
harmful, such as the nuclear arsenal and agricultural subside. We need 
new revenues that address the inequities in the tax code. It will 
require a comprehensive approach but will result in a sustainable 
budget future.
  By all means protect the vital operation of the FAA. More 
importantly, restore the hundreds of vital programs crippled by 
sequestration by replacing them with strategic cuts and new revenues 
that will strengthen our economy and county. This should be our number 
one priority.
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of legislation to 
provide the U.S. Secretary of Transportation with the flexibility to 
transfer certain funds to prevent reduced operations and staffing of 
the Federal Aviation Administration. While it is imperative that the 
U.S. Congress consider and pass legislation to replace the entirety of 
the sequester, this legislation will help ensure the safety and 
efficiency of our nation's air transportation system.
  Specifically, I rise to affirm the intent of this legislation that 
grants the Secretary of Transportation the ability to use unobligated 
balances of the Airport Improvement Program account to halt the 
furloughs of air traffic controllers, to maintain the midnight air 
traffic control tower shift at airports across the country including 
Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, and to prevent the closure of 
149 contract air traffic control towers including Castle Airport's 
contract air traffic control tower. Maintaining service at all contract 
and non-contract air traffic control towers is central to the authority 
provided in this bill to ensure the safety of our air transportation 
system.
  Many Members of Congress have expressed concerns over the closure of 
contract towers, reduced service at non-contract towers, and furloughs 
of air traffic controllers, all of which contribute to the overall 
safety of our nation's air transportation system. The safety

[[Page H2373]]

and efficiency of our skies have been put at risk and it has become 
incumbent upon the Congress to direct this authority to the Secretary 
of Transportation.
  Mr. PETERS of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I am 
frustrated at the House of Representatives' failure to pass a realistic 
budget to stop the irresponsible across-the-board cuts that have caused 
more than 4,000 flight delays impacting hundreds of thousands of 
passengers over the past week. I voted against the sequester because it 
was a bad policy then and it is a bad policy now.
  Families in Michigan and across the country should not be penalized 
for dysfunction in Congress. Today, I am proud to have voted to end the 
crippling delays in our nation's airspace and support the jobs of 
15,000 air traffic controllers who work hard to keep us safe all across 
this country.
  This bill gives the Secretary of Transportation the authority and 
flexibility to move funds within the FAA to minimize the disruption to 
our air transportation system. Although I am happy that our air traffic 
controllers can finally get back to work protecting our skies, this 
bill does nothing to solve the continuing negative impacts to women, 
senior citizens, small businesses and our children's education.
  It is time for us to take the responsible course of action to end 
this sequestration, find common-ground, and reach a final agreement on 
a bi-partisan budget that allows us to put teachers back to work in our 
schools, to give kids a jumpstart on education through Head Start, to 
help get people back to work, and to continue NIH research on critical 
diseases such as Alzheimers and heart disease.
  I call upon my colleagues to come back to the table and pass a bi-
partisan, comprehensive budget agreement to replace the sequester.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1765 to 
provide the Secretary of Transportation with the flexibility to 
transfer funds to prevent further disruptions resulting from Federal 
Aviation Administration furloughs. If enacted, this bill will end the 
air traffic control furloughs that have congested commercial aviation 
traffic over the last week.
  Currently, the FAA is furloughing almost 10 percent of its air 
traffic controller workforce on a daily basis. Since the furloughs 
began on Sunday through Wednesday this week, the number of air travel 
delays has totaled 8,804 compared to 2,795 for the same time last week. 
These delays inconvenience passengers and cause serious economic 
disruptions throughout the entire country.
  H.R. 1765 will provide the Secretary of Transportation with the 
flexibility he needs to fix this problem without adding to the FAA's 
budget. The additional flexibility in this bill will also give the 
Secretary the ability to restore the FAA's Contract Tower Program.
  It is Congress' intent that the Secretary of Transportation will use 
the added flexibility to stop the closure of the 149 identified 
contract towers across the country. As I and those in my District can 
attest, these contract towers, such as the ones in Albany and in Macon, 
play an important role in serving as a link between rural communities 
and the larger aviation network.
  This bill should be approved to prevent both the FAA furloughs and 
the closure of these contract towers. I urge my colleagues to join me 
in supporting this important aviation bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 1765.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 361, 
nays 41, not voting 30, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 125]

                               YEAS--361

     Aderholt
     Alexander
     Amodei
     Andrews
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Barber
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barrow (GA)
     Bass
     Becerra
     Benishek
     Bentivolio
     Bera (CA)
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blumenauer
     Bonamici
     Bonner
     Boustany
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Buchanan
     Bucshon
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cantor
     Capito
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Cassidy
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Chu
     Cicilline
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Coffman
     Cohen
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Connolly
     Cook
     Cooper
     Costa
     Cotton
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Daines
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     Davis, Rodney
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     Deutch
     Diaz-Balart
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Duckworth
     Duffy
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farenthold
     Farr
     Fattah
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Fortenberry
     Foster
     Foxx
     Frankel (FL)
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Garcia
     Gardner
     Garrett
     Gerlach
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gingrey (GA)
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (MO)
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Griffin (AR)
     Griffith (VA)
     Grijalva
     Grimm
     Guthrie
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hall
     Hanabusa
     Hanna
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Heck (NV)
     Heck (WA)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Higgins
     Himes
     Hinojosa
     Holding
     Holt
     Horsford
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurt
     Israel
     Issa
     Jackson Lee
     Jenkins
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Joyce
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (PA)
     Kennedy
     Kilmer
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Kirkpatrick
     Kline
     Kuster
     Labrador
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Langevin
     Lankford
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     Latta
     Lewis
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lummis
     Maffei
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Maloney, Sean
     Marino
     Matheson
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McCollum
     McHenry
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McNerney
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Meeks
     Meng
     Messer
     Mica
     Michaud
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moore
     Moran
     Mullin
     Murphy (FL)
     Murphy (PA)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Negrete McLeod
     Neugebauer
     Noem
     Nugent
     Nunes
     Nunnelee
     O'Rourke
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor (AZ)
     Paulsen
     Payne
     Pearce
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Perry
     Peters (CA)
     Peters (MI)
     Peterson
     Petri
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Poe (TX)
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price (GA)
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rahall
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Ribble
     Rice (SC)
     Richmond
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Roybal-Allard
     Royce
     Runyan
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Salmon
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Scalise
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Schock
     Schrader
     Schwartz
     Schweikert
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, Austin
     Scott, David
     Sensenbrenner
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Southerland
     Speier
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Stockman
     Stutzman
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Terry
     Thompson (MS)
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tierney
     Tipton
     Titus
     Tonko
     Tsongas
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watt
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wilson (FL)
     Wittman
     Wolf
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yarmuth
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                                NAYS--41

     Amash
     Clarke
     Conyers
     Crowley
     DesJarlais
     Dingell
     Duncan (SC)
     Edwards
     Ellison
     Fincher
     Fudge
     Hoyer
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Jordan
     Kelly (IL)
     Kildee
     Lee (CA)
     Levin
     Lofgren
     Long
     Massie
     Matsui
     McDermott
     McGovern
     Mulvaney
     Nolan
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Pingree (ME)
     Pocan
     Sarbanes
     Serrano
     Thompson (CA)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Welch
     Wenstrup
     Wilson (SC)

                             NOT VOTING--30

     Barton
     Beatty
     Brady (TX)
     Burgess
     Carney
     Carter
     Coble
     Conaway
     Enyart
     Flores
     Forbes
     Granger
     Honda
     Huffman
     Jones
     LoBiondo
     Lynch
     Marchant
     Markey
     Miller, George
     Polis
     Radel
     Rangel
     Ruiz
     Sessions
     Smith (WA)
     Walorski
     Waxman
     Williams
     Young (IN)

                              {time}  1213

  Ms. KELLY of Illinois and Mr. FINCHER changed their vote from ``yea'' 
to ``nay.''
  Messrs. CASSIDY, FARR, FLEMING, Ms. HAHN, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ and 
Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California changed their vote from ``nay'' to 
``yea.''
  So (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and 
the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 125, had I been present, I 
would have voted ``yea.''

[[Page H2374]]

  Mr. RADEL. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 125, had I been present, I 
would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 125, on motion to suspend 
the rules and pass H.R. 1765, I was unable to vote. Had I been present, 
I would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, on April 26 I was unavoidably detained and 
missed rollcall No. 125, on H.R. 1765. Had I been present, I would have 
voted ``yea.''
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Speaker, I wish to clarify my position for the Record 
on a vote cast on April 26, 2013. The vote was on passage of H.R. 1765, 
the Reducing Flight Delays Act.
  On rollcall vote No. 125, I did not vote. It was my intention to vote 
``yea.''

                          ____________________