07 SEP 2011: In the interminable ‘mine is bigger than yours’ game being played out in Washington, President Obama is urging the US Congress to avoid another partial Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shutdown by passing a long-term funding authorization bill.
Congress passed a short-term extension August 4 that has allowed the FAA to operate through September 16.
"This should not be a Democratic issue or a Republican issue," Obama correctly observed.
The FAA has relied on 21 short-term authorizations since 2007. That’s not a typo – 21 - is the number. “The latest bill was held up over how to count no votes in union elections and funding for rural airports,” said the Federal Times.
If you are puzzled by this statement – join the club.
Does it mean:
Counting no votes – as in nobody votes – in which case wouldn’t one assume there is then nothing to count.
Counting No votes. As in someone voting “No” – in which case doesn’t one tally up all the Votes that say No and mark that number in the “No” column.
Perhaps it is something else ... who can tell.
Obama said Congress should pass a "clean" extension for FAA funding that would leave out those issues.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said last month that Republicans were committed to working with the President and Democrats to pass an FAA extension and legislation for transportation improvements.
"I am returning to Washington to also consult with our Republican leadership before granting the 22nd FAA extension," Mica said.
So, if a bill requires 22 extensions in four years, isn’t it time to change the bill.
Perhaps that’s too simple.