The budget sequester was designed to suck.
And suck it did.
But when it sucks for Congressmen and their wealthy donors, well, something has to be done:
In a quick and unanticipated session on Thursday night, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration budget flexibility to stop furloughing air traffic controllers.
The measure, approved by unanimous consent, came just days after forced unpaid leaves for controllers began, delaying thousands of flights — 876 flights were delayed on Wednesday alone, the FAA said. Titled the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013,” the resolution provides the Secretary of Transportation the power to transfer up to $253 million in pre-existing funds to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” at the FAA.
Nothing for other programs in education, or for intelligence gathering, or cancer research, or for anything like that. It's so the wealthy can fly. (And yes, I know that people of moderate and low incomes fly, but flight delayes is a problem that predominiately affects the well-to-do).
Thanks to the sequester, $604 million were cut from the National Nuclear Security Administration. $512 million were cut from the Customs and Border Protection. $633 million were cut from the Department of Education Special Education programs. At a time where major natural disasters are increasingly common, $928 million was cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money. $168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The WTC Health Program Fund, which provides medical benefits to those affected by the September 11 was cut by $10 million.
But my God, we have to make sure our flights aren't delayed 20 minutes.