All the big conflicts on Capitol Hill seem to get resolved just before their deadline. Except one. Federal Aviation Administration programs are again set to expire in just a couple weeks, and as has been the case for a year, House Republicans won’t agree to a long term reauthorization unless it includes a provision that rigs the votes if airline and rail workers want to unionize.
This same conflict led to a partial FAA shutdown last summer, and it will again unless one of the parties blinks, or Congress once again passes a stopgap bill. To force the GOP’s hand, Communications Workers of America are targeting vulnerable Republicans Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Chip Cravaack (R-MN) with week-long, one-minute radio ads, hoping to build moderate GOP support for the Dem position.
“Both Rep. Cravaack’s and Rep. Duffy’s constituents deserve to learn of their role in voting against fair elections and remaining complicit in the continued obstruction of a sorely-needed job creation bill,” said CWA Communications Director Candice Johnson.
The House and Senate have been grappling for months over a provision in the House GOP’s FAA reauthorization bill that would count abstentions as “no” votes when airline and rail workers want to form a union. Democrats were once thought likely to cave on the issue, but have held their ground on the issue as the public has soured on GOP-driven shutdown threats.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.