Tuesday, October 16, 2007

FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 - Walberg Votes No

On September 20, 2007, the House of Representatives voted on HR 2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007. The bill would reauthorize and fund the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2008 to 2011. The FAA, of course, is the agency which keeps airplanes from falling out of the sky. Or, rather, it sets in place regulations on flights, airplanes, and airlines, and maintains the air traffic control system. Flying is a nightmare sometimes, but it'd be a lot worse without the FAA. A summary of what the bill does can be found here.

While not a high-profile bill, it was obviously vital to the economy and safety. Without it, the FAA would cease to operate and chaos would ensue. The bill easily passed, 267 to 151.

Congressman Tim Walberg voted No.

Now, does that mean that Walberg wants airplanes to crash? Of course not. Even his rigid ideology, I assume, allows for regulation of something like this (if it doesn't, I'm truly frightened). Instead, the bit which probably made it impossible for Walberg and 150 other Republicans to vote to reauthorize the FAA was this:
Two amendments to the bill were introduced and passed. The first amendment that passed was an amendment to reopen contract talks between the FAA and the Naitonal Air Traffic Controllers Association. The amendment would put the 1998 controllers' contract back into force. If no agreement is reached within 45 days, the dispute would be sent to binding arbitration. The amendment directs that FAA controllers are to be given back pay but provides no funding for this purpose. Future disputes between FAA and one of its unions would be sent to binding arbitration in the event of an impasse. A second amendment was also passed to change the definition of "express carrier" under the Railway Labor Act to allow the non-aviation portions of express carriers to be organized under the National Labor Relations Act (instead of the RLA).
Each amendment strengthens the position of the workers in labor negotiations. Although Congressman Walberg issued no statement on the bill, I'm guessing his anti-labor stance is what prevented him from supporting the bill.

Tim Walberg: Fighting against the little guy on behalf of big corporations.

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If Walberg thinks the W.K. Kellogg Airport isn't worth funding, why would he support the FAA?

Doubt if he knows one of the major Midwest FAA facilities is in his district...at the Kellogg Airport nonetheless!
A Republican voting anti-labor?

So what's the surprise?
Walberg checked the Constitution and it didn't say anything about administering aviation, so he don't think thats somethin' the fedral gubment should be doin'.

Hey, at least he didn't talk about how important it was and brag how he fought hard for pork projects in the bill.
The FAA caused 9/11. Let airlines provide their own security and hold them accountable, via the tort system, when they fail.

The NLRB is a fascist scam. Wake up. Truly free labor means you can organize a union without having to call in bureaucrats from D.C. Are you people for freedom and liberty or simply for communism?
Kudos to Walberg. There is no need for the extra spending. Thanks for sticking up for the taxpayer!
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