GOP lawmaker will introduce back pay bill for FAA workers

Bill Cahir/Landov
This story has been updated.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., will introduce legislation Tuesday that would authorize back pay for the thousands of employees furloughed at the Federal Aviation Administration, his office said.

Furloughed FAA employees returned to work Monday, after weeks of uncertainty over their jobs and funding for the agency. LoBiondo, whose district includes workers who were affected by the furlough, sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

President Obama on Friday signed a temporary measure that funds FAA through Sept. 16, allowing 4,000 furloughed employees to return to their jobs this week as well as 74,000 construction workers and other transportation workers affected by the two-week impasse.

Essential employees who have remained on the job will receive retroactive pay for the time they worked during the partial shutdown. In addition, the 40 airport safety inspectors who were on the job during the furlough and have been paying travel and work-related expenses out of their own pockets will be reimbursed.

"As a matter of fairness, we will also do everything we can to get Congress to provide our furloughed employees with the back pay they deserve," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in an Aug. 5 blog post on the department's website.

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., also expressed his support. "Chairman Mica will work with other members to ensure that the FAA employees who were recently furloughed and without pay for two weeks will be taken care of," Justin Harclerode, Mica's communications director, said in an email.

Tom Brantley, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, said in an emailed statement, "If legislation is required, we would expect Congress to take action as soon as possible to correct their failure to pass an extension."

"FAA employees may be back at work but they are still suffering from the financial fallout of the furlough. Congress should move quickly to restore back pay and promise not to do this again in September," said Carl Goldman, executive director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 26, in an email.

Lawmakers reached a deal Aug. 4 to end the impasse over FAA funding and put thousands of furloughed employees back to work, and the next day the Senate passed the House-approved bill funding the agency through Sept. 16. LaHood used his authority to waive a controversial provision in the bill related to rural airport subsidies, but the issue will come up again when Congress revisits the legislation in September.

The standoff began as a dispute between House Republicans and the Democrats over rural airport subsidies, but it has since grown into a broader blame game about who is responsible for failing to reauthorize funding for FAA over the long term. The House-approved bill eliminates subsidies for airline service to airports located less than 90 miles from a medium or large hub, which has upset some lawmakers from rural areas. The two chambers also have been at odds over a labor provision in the House version that would overturn a National Mediation Board decision that would make it easier for rail and aviation workers to unionize. That issue also will come up again when Congress reconvenes in September.

The dispute has cost the U.S. government an estimated $200 million a week since July 23 in uncollected airline taxes.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.