Shuster represents the Ninth Congressional District, which includes Franklin and Fulton counties.
“This week, many Americans had their flights delayed or canceled because of the way in which the Obama administration chose to implement the president’s automatic sequestration cuts,” Shuster said, according to a transcript of the remarks.
Shuster is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He called sequestration “bad policy” and the wrong way to reduce the deficit.
“Fortunately, after a public outcry and pressure from Congress, the Obama administration agreed to a legislative solution to address these flight delays. That travelers will soon get relief is good news, but it shouldn’t have taken this long, and you deserve an explanation of what happened,” he said.
From the beginning, the Federal Aviation Administration could have acted on its own to implement the sequester without affecting the public like it did, Shuster said.
“They could have cut spending elsewhere. They could have taken into account air traffic patterns and made sure controllers would be in place where they were most needed. Or, they could have reached out to Congress and the airlines to have a plan in place ahead of time,” he said.
The congressman from Hollidaysburg, Pa., alleged the president’s administration thought inflicting pain on the public would give the president more leverage to avoid spending cuts and impose tax hikes.
“This episode is yet another demonstration of why we need to replace the president’s sequester with smarter, more responsible cuts. The American people deserve better, and leaders in Washington have an obligation to respect your time and money,” Shuster said.
He said House Republicans have voted twice to replace automatic cuts with “smarter” ones.