WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced they have cosponsored a bill to provide back pay and put hundreds of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) workers who have been furloughed in New Jersey back to work.
Last Saturday, these workers were sent home without their paychecks after lawmakers failed to pass a temporary funding extension. Republicans are calling for cuts to the Essential Air Service program, which currently provides approximately $200 million in federal subsidies to rural airports, but Democrats have been unwilling to agree to them.
“Hardworking people in New Jersey shouldn’t have to go without a paycheck because Republicans are playing games in Washington,” said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “This bill would ensure that New Jersey’s FAA employees can get back to work and continue making progress on the groundbreaking technology being developed at the Tech Center. We must pass this legislation and come to a quick resolution to reauthorize the FAA.”
“It is unacceptable that 650 New Jersey workers have been furloughed because of a Republican partisan stunt,” said Senator Menendez. “This bill will get these workers back on the job, get them back pay, and allow them to continue their important work to make our skies safer and more efficient.”
This bill introduced by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, would allow FAA employees, including those at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, to continue working with pay and benefits funded from the Aviation Trust Fund as Congress works to pass a FAA extension. On July 26, Lautenberg and Menendez wrote a letter to the Senate Republican Leader urging him to work quickly with the Republican Conference to get the FAA back up and running.
The Technical Center is the world’s premiere aviation research and development facility and serves as the FAA’s test base. Employees work on long-range development of aviation systems as well as the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen.
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