Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg railed at Republicans over the weekend, warning that a government shutdown could cause disruptions in air travel, The Hill reported.
While appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, Buttigieg warned that if Congressional Republicans failed to pass a stopgap spending measure before the September 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown, it would shut down air traffic control training right at a time “when the country recognizes the need for more” staffing and when the airlines have finally brought cancellations to the normal rate.
The Transportation Secretary warned that a government shutdown would further exacerbate staffing problems in the transportation industry and would stop the Department of Transportation “in its tracks” by halting the modernizing of the FAA’s technology infrastructure.
Buttigieg also claimed that a shutdown would stop the transportation department from putting in place the rules ensuring that airline passengers get refunds when their flights are delayed.
Thursday evening, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol that he would not allow a vote in the House for the Senate stopgap measure to keep the government open, the Associated Press reported.
The Senate is close to passing a bipartisan stopgap spending bill to fund the government until November 17 while negotiations on a long-term spending bill continue.
However, McCarthy assured reporters on Thursday that he still has time and “at the end of the day,” the House will “get it all done.”
Meanwhile, the House passed legislation to fund the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security. A fourth spending bill to fund the Department of Agriculture failed.
House Republicans have still failed to unite around an alternative stopgap measure as the Saturday deadline looms.
However, Republican leadership is hoping that the House’s approval of the three appropriations bills will bolster support for a plan to temporarily fund the government in exchange for boosting border security.