Members of Congress adore flying on Air Force jets, particularly for overseas trips — there are no security lines, check-in is a breeze, the service couldn’t be better, and all seats are business-class.
But if the government-wide cuts aren’t thwarted and the military has to pinch pennies, lawmakers might have to kiss those perks goodbye, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told the crowd at the Air Force Association’s winter conference in Orlando, according to a transcript. They might have to nix “interagency and congressional senior leader travel,” he warned.
Lawmakers flying commercial? The horror.
And if members of Congress are forced into such dire circumstances, they’re in for even more delays. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
cautioned Friday that the sequester could cause major backups in airports around the country.
So much for all those fact-finding trips.
The House divided?
It may not have snagged the Oscar for best picture, but the movie “Lincoln” is still a smash hit in official Washington.
LaHood suggested last week that the flick about the 16th president could offer a template for averting the sequester.
“Go and see ‘Lincoln,’ ” the transportation secretary advised Republicans during an appearance at a White House press briefing during which he outlined the impact of the budget cuts (think airport delays, angry passengers calling lawmakers, etc.).
He indicated that congressional negotiators should learn from Honest Abe, who “gathered people around him” to negotiate and solve tough problems.
Not that the sequester can be equated with, you know, the potential dissolution of the Union, but still . . .
Maybe if the White House offered to buy the popcorn?
Something in the airwaves
Speculation has long been swirling around who might replace Federal Communications Commission Chairman
. But hold the phone — all that sturm and drang may be for naught.
It appears he’s staying put for a bit.
Yes, technically, Genachowski’s term expires June 30. But by law, he can remain until Congress leaves town at the end of 2014. Other signs that he’s sticking around include a planned appearance at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in April, and his continued interest in the FCC’s plan to buy back television licenses and auction the spectrum to wireless providers, something we’re told Genachowski feels ownership of.
The White House is plenty busy filling all the actual vacancies that have cropped up in President Obama’s second term (starting with seven Cabinet or Cabinet-rank jobs), so finding a replacement for Genachowski apparently isn’t high on the to-do list.
For his part, Genachowski has deflected questions about when he might step down.