Here's a novel budget-cutting strategy: Ask people to work free of charge. Congress failed to approve a stop-gap funding measure for the FAA when House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL.) tacked a budget cut onto the normally straightforward bill. He proposed ending federal subsidies for air service to small airports in rural areas. The Senate refused to pass the bill and then Congress adjourned. More than 4,000 FAA workers and tens of thousands of airport construction workers face immediate furlough or work without pay. The FAA says the furlough won't affect the safety of air travel, but that many of the agency's functions and its ability to collect tax revenue will grind to a halt. “This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
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