Thursday, October 17 2013 4:40 PM EDT2013-10-17 20:40:19 GMT
(RNN) - By passing a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling, and a 16 days-late deal on the government shutdown, Congress finally got back to doing its job. So, what now? Some people may see it as the timeMore >>
With a budget passed only until January, a debt ceiling deal through February and a bunch of days off for Congress until then, the country may be back in the same situation soon.More >>
Thursday, October 17 2013 5:27 AM EDT2013-10-17 09:27:22 GMT
A last-minute deal has been struck, allowing the federal government to avoid a shutdown. A shutdown would have suspended all federal government services deemed non-essential. All federally-funded museums,More >>
Congress has passed a bill to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling, avoiding default. More >>
Sunday, October 13 2013 6:52 PM EDT2013-10-13 22:52:24 GMT
WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) - Despite the WWII Memorial being closed, members of the Million Vet March have gathered in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown – according to media reports. "We do notMore >>
Veterans gathered at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown.More >>
Saturday, October 12 2013 3:51 AM EDT2013-10-12 07:51:25 GMT
Waitress picks up the tab for furloughed solders' lunch.More >>
Waitress picks up the tab for furloughed solders' lunch. More >>
(CNN/RNN) – On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the closing of 149 air traffic control towers staffed by contractors that will begin April 7.
The agency made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest, according to an FAA news release.
"We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in the news release.
The cuts are result of sequestration – the $85 billion in spending cuts that went into effect on March 1 after Congress did not pass a budget.
The targeted airports for tower closures have 150,000 flight operations annually, and of those, fewer than 10,000 are commercial flights, according to the Associated Press. Along with the tower closures, most of the FAA 47,000 employees, which include tower controllers, will experience furloughs.
"There's going to be close calls, there's going to be midairs, there's going to be a runway accident," said Mamie Ambrose, an air traffic controller in Frederick, MD.
Of the $1 billion that will be a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's budget cuts, $637 million will come from the FAA in fiscal year 2013.
With that amount, the contract tower program is facing a 75 percent reduction.
"We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a news release. "Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration."
According to CNN, altogether, 238 towers are on the chopping block, and the FAA said it expects to cut funding to the "vast majority" of the towers.
The new air traffic control tower in Frederick, MD built with $5.3 million in stimulus money.
"Then why did they build this tower? In 2010, they said safety was an issue, and then they funded this tower. Now, it's 2013 and safety will not be affected? Which is it?" Ambrose said.
Pilots also are worried about the safety issues these closings could cause.
"It makes no sense," Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said to CNN. "Tragically something is going to happen, and then were going to review this decision and, I'm sure, roll back some of the cuts they are considering now."
The FAA said they would be willing to consider a case-by-case basis on whether or not they should close the towers in certain areas.
"We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.
According to the FAA, the towers slated to close are at smaller airports with lighter traffic. It's not just private pilots in small planes who could be affected, as many of the airports are serviced by major airlines.
The cuts could also leave towers unmanned during overnight hours in some big cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee.
Back in February, the FAA also released a list of airports that might close, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued a warning about the cuts when the sequestration deadline loomed.
"Sequestration will have a serious impact on the transportation services that are critical to the traveling public and the nation's economy," LaHood said in a statement on the DOT website.
Copyright 2013 CNN via Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Sunday, November 10 2013 7:00 AM EST2013-11-10 12:00:14 GMT
(RNN) - Forced budget cuts, or sequestration, will take food from mouths as well as money from the pockets of the working poor as U.S. poverty are projected to increase to levels unseen since 1960. ExpertsMore >>
The number of families in poverty may increase as constantly changing political issues and talking points don't include and focus on America's impoverished population.More >>
Friday, September 20 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-09-20 15:44:06 GMT
(RNN) - The House debate on the bill commenced Friday morning following a 230-192 vote Thursday night approving the rules governing the debate. The bill is intended to temporarily avoid a government shutdownMore >>
The House has voted on a bill intended to temporarily avoid a government shutdown by shifting funding away from President Barack Obama's new healthcare law.More >>