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LaHood Wants Politicians To Put Aside “Their Own Egos” and Pass An FAA Extension

July 31, 2011

“This is a time that I think most of us that have watched politics have never seen before, because there are people in Congress who don’t like the word compromise, who don’t believe in it,” said LaHood, a former Republican Congressman from rural Illinois.

“That’s what we need today. We need for people to come together, set aside their own egos, a certain part of their own agenda for the American people — to make sure we maintain the strongest economy in the world; to send a signal to the world that we can get big things done, Washington can still get big things done,” LaHood said, while noting that “as some of you know, I’ve been in public service and politics 35 years — 17 years as a staffer, 14 years as a member, and now two and a half years in this job.”

Since the agency’s funding ran out six days ago, he said 4,000 employees have been furloughed, dozens of FAA-funded construction projects have ground to a halt, 70,000 construction workers have been thrown out of work, and the US is losing $200 million a day in uncollected airline taxes.

While not pointing fingers at any particular political party, LaHood called on Congress to pass a “clean extension,” which is the opposite of what the GOP-controlled House has done.

But, speaking earlier this morning on The Takeaway, Republican House Transportation and Infrastructure committee chair John Mica maintained it’s not the Republicans who are the problem.

When asked if he’s holding up the bill in order to force the Senate to change a federal rule governing how workers can vote to unionize — a charge that Democrats have leveled — Mica put the ball back in the Democrat’s court. “They are trying to shift the debate away from what’s actually in the extension — and that’s the prohibition on these subsidies. That’s the only provision in the extension,” Mica said, referring to a controversial House provision that would reduce subsidies to airlines that fly into small, rural airports. You can listen to the interview below.


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