In late July, House Republicans forced a nearly two-week shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, furloughing thousands of federal employees and bringing construction projects supporting tens of thousands of jobs to a grinding halt. Airline inspectors were forced to work without pay during the shutdown.
The GOP refused to reauthorize funding for the FAA without including in the legislation a union-busting provision that had nothing to do with aviation. In the aftermath of the shutdown, House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) — who helped engineer the shutdown — attempted the play the victim, whining that he’d “had a brutal week, getting beat up by everybody” after putting thousands out of work.
And now, evidently believing that everyone has forgotten the contempt that he showed for the FAA, Mica is touting an FAA grant to the airport in his district:
Congressman John L. Mica (R-Sanford) today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded the Orlando Sanford International Airport a $10.6 million grant to assist in the purchase of land needed to expand runway 9L.
“Orlando Sanford International Airport is a significant contributor to the local economy of Seminole County,” says Congressman John Mica. “By acquiring the land to improve and expand the runway at the airport, we can bring in newer quieter passenger aircraft and improve safety. This will further allow us to expand business and economic activity at the airport, creating more jobs for the region.”
Of course, just a few months ago Mica seemed far more concerned with union-busting, and doing the bidding of some of his biggest campaign contributors, than in the FAA’s ability to generate economic activity and jobs. Adding insult to injury, the anti-union provision that Mica wanted to make law (which would change the way union elections operate) was so nonsensical that, if the same rule applied to congressional elections, Mica wouldn’t be in Congress in the first place.
In addition to his FAA shenanigans, Mica has proposed slashing overall transportation infrastructure funding, “even though our current infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP (2 percent) is already at half what it was in 1960 and less than one-quarter of what China spends today (9 percent).” But he’s more than happy to wholeheartedly cheer the job creation potential of projects in his own district.