The Federal Aviation Administration is not collapsing but the White House is.
The Post reports:
The House of Representatives on Friday approved and sent to the president legislation intended to end a week of turmoil at several of the nation’s major airports, where the sequestration furlough of air traffic controllers caused long delays for thousands of passengers.
The vote came 16 hours after the bill won unanimous support in the Senate, and the White House said the president would sign it. . . .
Republicans said the president abruptly announced the details of furlough plan last week to create a high-profile, television-friendly display of sequestration’s impact. They contended that the FAA had other options to save the total of $637 million mandated by sequestration.
Actually, it is more than “contending”; not only does current law likely allow this but Republican senators previously offered to provide such legislation, which the president threatened to veto. But now he fold his cards, again.
Liberal blogger Ezra Klein says the Democrats just “lost” on the sequestration: “Absent the willingness to accept the pain of sequestration and use it to overturn the whole policy, Democrats have no leverage to end it.” In fact, they lost weeks ago. The pain is entirely of the administration’s creation, pain channeled to visible public services so that the public will conclude (falsely) that the cuts are draconian and no money can be cut from government, ever. Once Republicans pulled the curtain back, the jig was up for the never-cut-anything crowd.
The latest FAA gambit was a somewhat desperate effort to revive the issue. Once again the president, seemingly with no back up plan, had no choice but to give up when the public became outraged and it was obvious that Democrats were trying to wield their inconvenience as a club against Republicans. Really, did the president expect any different result than occurred when he was threatening to lay off first responders?
The president has been deeply unserious of late — about our debt, about the Syrian chemical use (not such a “red line” after all), about the identity of our enemy (jihadists) and about the depth of our economic woes. He would rather pursue a largely frivolous anti-gun bill or demagogue about the FAA. For the sake of the country, he needs to raise his game and start facing up to our real challenges.