Meanwhile, the FAA'S Still Partially Shut Down

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 3 2011 9:59 AM

Meanwhile, the FAA'S Still Partially Shut Down

Coming out of the Democrats' final meeting before the debt deal vote, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., raged at how Democrats were unable to add more to the deal.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"What about resolving the FAA standoff?" he asked. "They say they don't want anything extraneous. Jobs are extraneous!"

Republicans late Monday blocked a bipartisan Senate plan to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, making it increasingly likely Congress will be unable to resolve the legislative standoff before September... lost revenue from uncollected airline ticket taxes could exceed $1.2 billion before lawmakers return to work a month later, senators said.

There was a moment on Tuesday when Harry Reid seemed to be ready to accept the GOP's version of the FAA plan -- the main sticking point of the House's package is that it puts up barriers to unionization. The trial balloon didn't last, and the deal foundered. The shutdown continues, and while it's technically possible for Congress to resolve it (to block recess appointments, both houses are in pro forma sessions), it would take a heavy lift. Democrats asked why they didn't get a debt limit hike in the tax deal; it's reasonable for them to ask why they didn't extract just one concession here.

UPDATE: At 11:30, House and Senate Democrats held an unusually combative press conference about this, lacing into the media for not covering it the right way.

"For the media to say 'We're ignoring the gun to your head, just give them what they want and let them go,' is not fair, is not even-handed," sniped Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"We are not going to be held hostage as we did on the debt ceiling crisis on this issue," said Harry Reid.

It's 24 hours since the debt deal, and this is the discussion: Hostages, guns, etc. The thinking seems to be that the press is primed to see Republicans as an army of baclava-clad kidnappers.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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