American Morning

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August 4th, 2011
09:45 AM ET

Transportation Secretary LaHood to Congress: Don't hold the American people hostage

The Federal Aviation Administration has been without funding since July 22nd when the Congress-approved funding for the agency expired. This Tuesday, lawmakers left for their summer vacation without voting to pass a funding extension.

The impasse has caused 4,000 FAA employees to be furloughed and has left the FAA unable to collect taxes on airline tickets. Analysts estimate that the government is losing about $200 million a week in revenue because of the partial shutdown.

Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, has urged members of Congress to come back to Capitol Hill to make a decision. LaHood joins Ali Velshi on American Morning today to tell us what the plan is for the next five weeks and to talk about the latest in the furlough.

"There are these controversial items that have been put in bills that didn't stop Congress on 20 other occasions from passing the extension," LaHood says. "Don't hold the American jobs and American people hostage over controversial issues that were not a problem 20 other times."

"Come back from your vacation, come back and put Americans to work the way you would do for your friends and neighbor so they receive a paycheck like Congress is," LaHood adds.

See the entire interview above.

Filed under: FAA
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