This summer, Federal Aviation Administration employees were furloughed for nearly two weeks amidst a Congressional gridlock regarding the agency’s funding. Officials are now saying those employees are to receive back pay for the time missed.
About 4,000 FAA workers were out of work for 13 days while the House and Senate failed to make movement in extending the agency’s funding set to run out in late July. Lawmakers reached an agreement to restore funding, but neglected to consider the worker’s lost pay.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) introduced a bill to provide reimbursements, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood could authorize the pay without congressional action.
“A preventable failure of Congress resulting in significant hardship for thousands of FAA employees has finally been made right,” he said in a statement released by his office. “I appreciate Secretary LaHood’s commitment to ensure the furloughed FAA employees, including nearly 650 in South Jersey, were not held at fault for Washington’s dysfunction,” said LoBiondo.
Partial shutdown of the FAA cost the federal government about $30 million per day of lost sales tax on airline ticket purchases. Additionally, an estimated 70,000 construction workers were said to be out of work with more than 200 airport projects stalled.
Update at 4:57 p.m.:
“For these folks, like so many families across America, a single missed paycheck can be a huge burden in these tough economic times. So I’m thrilled to finally be able to make this situation right for them,” LaHood said.