Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House passed legislation to fund the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This bill is virtually identical to the bill that passed the Senate last year by a vote of 92-6. It now heads back to the Senate for its consideration.
“Currently, Air Traffic Controllers are working and ensuring the safety of our skies without being paid. It is clear that as the shutdown progresses, our nation becomes less safe and Americans could be put at risk. It’s past time that we end this shutdown and reopen the government. The President and the Senate must stop the games and reopen the parts of our government that have nothing to do with securing the border.”
This coming Friday, January 11th, will mark the first missed paycheck for many of the federal employees who are part of the shutdown.
Because of the shutdown, some of the most important activities funded in the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies have ground to a halt. In addition to concerns over possible evictions and severe slowdowns with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the shutdown has also led to other serious impacts:
• Reduced the Aviation Workforce. The FAA training academy in Oklahoma City is closed, slowing the training of new air traffic controllers, despite shortages of qualified staff nationwide. Additionally, the FAA has suspended the issuance of airmen certificates which are mandatory for becoming a student, private, or commercial pilot; flight engineer, navigator, or attendant; or other aviation-related professions. FAA airmen certificates are required for the crew of international carriers that transit through the U.S.
• Health and Safety of Renters Put At Risk. HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center is not conducting inspections in assisted housing units because of the government shutdown. These inspections are critical to ensure decent, safe, and sanitary housing.
• Vehicle Safety Activities Suspended. Because of the shutdown, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suspended data analysis and investigations into motor vehicle manufacturing defects. Recalls as a result of automotive defects will not occur.
I want to serve my constituents in any way I can. Whether you need help with a federal agency, are trying to find out if federal grants are available for your project, or are considering applying to a service academy. I hope all the information in this section will be helpful.