Democratic lawmakers are reportedly frustrated the media won’t just swallow their claims that the Republicans are “hostage-takers” who are blocking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding and keeping 74,000 industry employees out of work. Of course, that’s because their claims are complete nonsense.
The FAA has been forced to partially shut down – and shed thousands of jobs in the process – because Democrats have blocked a House bill that would have funded the agency until after lawmakers return from recess. Democrats oppose the bill because it cuts subsidies to 13 rural airports in Sens. Harry Reid and John Rockefeller’s districts.
Instead of compromising with Congress, Democratic leaders are seeking to paint Republicans as terrorists, cults, blackmailers, etc., because the GOP won’t yield to their demands.
“It’s the issue of hostage taking. And that is not fair and that is not right,” Sen. Charles Schumer said yesterday. “It’s as if someone puts a gun to your head and says, ‘Give me your money,’ and then you say, ‘Why won’t you give them your money?’ You leave out the whole context that there’s a gun being held to your head and that is not fair and that is not right.”
Harry Reid took the “hostage” rhetoric to another level:
“If one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read ‘Views Differ on Shape of Planet,’ ” Reid said, quoting Paul Krugman. “But would that cult still rule in a situation as stark as the one we now face, in which one party is clearly engaged in blackmail and the other is dickering over the size of the ransom?
“The answer, it turns out, is yes. And this is no laughing matter: The cult of balance has played an important role in bringing us to the edge of disaster.”
As Conn Carroll notes at the Washington Examiner, Reid’s sudden objection to the subsidy cuts in the House bill are pretty ironic, considering the senator’s recent openness to the idea:
On Tuesday, Reid told reporters, “The Essential Air Service is a program that I believe in, but I also believe that $3,500 per passenger is a little extreme. That’s what Ely, Nevada is. And I do my best to protect the state, but sometimes you have to be reasonable.”
But that was Tuesday. Now that the Democrats liberal base is apoplectic about the Democrats’ surrender on the debt deal, Reid has changed his tune.
Holding up FAA funding for purely arbitrary political reasons? I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the Democrats’ job-creation strategy entails.