The Senate fixes the part of the Sequester it cares about

Thirty-two years late, air traffic controllers get some more (involuntary) time off. Image from the PATCO strike in 1981. Image from

Per Huffington Post:

In a quick and unanticipated session on Thursday night, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration budget flexibility to stop furloughing air traffic controllers.

The measure, approved by unanimous consent, came just days after forced unpaid leaves for controllers began, delaying thousands of flights…

Translation: The Senators (and Congresscreatures, who are expected to approve the bill as well) have been personally inconvenienced by the Sequester’s effect on air travel and changed the Sequester rules. And they’ve been sufficiently embarrassed by some other Sequester idiocy to scale back individual parts of it. So we’re not going to furlough meat inspectors. We aren’t going to cut off tuition benefits for military personnel. But despite Harry Reid’s pleas, the Senate and Congress aren’t going to apply the savings from scaling back the wars to roll back the sequester. Instead, Head Start has fired teachers and closed classrooms, Meals on Wheels has scaled back its services, and  people on Medicare aren’t being treated for cancer. None of that has changed.

What has changed over the years is the way people fight back–or don’t fight back. Back in the 1960’s, when Chicago’s Mayor Daley was cutting money for city jobs and housing while using the ‘savings’ for modernizing O’Hare airport, community groups made their displeasure known by completely occupying all the bathroom facilities at the new airport so that passengers were inconvenienced. The city caved in a few days and started restoring some of the monies. Unfortunately, the groups still affected by the sequester can’t use that tactic now that only ticketed passengers are allowed at the gates. I bet DHS would also be kind of upset. And you know–we can’t interfere with commercial flight because then, you-know-what.

Still–I’ll bet those legislators going to Dulles Airport like clockwork every Friday and returning every Tuesday might need to see some not-so-friendly faces. Just sayin’.

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