Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has a message for “extremist Republicans in Congress” — if we avoid traffic hell this Thanksgiving, it’s not thanks to you.
“Bottom line is that, you know, in just two or three years, we’ve gone from people wondering whether the U.S. aviation sector as we knew it would survive to a mountain right now of record demand and record work going on to meet that demand,” he told reporters Monday, according to Fox News.
“I need to stress that the progress I’ve discussed and the progress underway with regard to our aviation workforce, technology and infrastructure is not guaranteed. Every time extremist Republicans in Congress bring us to the brink of a government shutdown, it threatens to stop the momentum that we built around training and around protecting customer rights.”
“Every time they threaten to slash funding for DOT and short the FAA — and there’s a Republican proposal to do that on the cusp of reaching the House floor right now — it threatens to reverse all of this progress,” he continued.
“So we’re doing everything we can with everything that we have. But if some voices in Congress got their way, we would have to freeze hiring new staff. We would be set back in modernizing computer systems, including the badly outdated system that forced the FAA to ground planes when there was an outage back in January. It would disrupt the progress that we’ve made. I’m certain that it would lead to more disruptions in air travel.”
Buttigieg’s comments in the wake of a report from aviation experts found that the Federal Aviation Administration needs better staffing and equipment in the wake of a series of close calls between planes.
According to Buttigieg, some lawmakers make issues with flight delays and other problems a “partisan issue” and threaten to shut “down the government and force air traffic controllers to work without pay.”
“It is my hope and expectation that reason will prevail on Capitol Hill,” he said.
Read more at Fox Business.