Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Michael Huerta said Wednesday that part of the reasons that disruptive furloughs are necessary is because he lacks the flexibility to transfer funds between different agency accounts. And the reason the FAA lacks that flexibility is because the Obama administration has not requested it; Congress could authorize this so-called transfer authority at any time.
“I don’t have the flexibility,” Huerta told Representative Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) when asked if the FAA could avoid the need for furloughs by diverting some funding for long-term investments in what Huerta called “our next-generation air transportation system.”
“Have you asked the Congress for those changes to allow you to do that?” Rogers asked during a transportation subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill.
“No,” Huerta replied.
Republicans argue that the administration’s failure to request greater flexibility to implement sequestration indicates the White House is playing politics at the expense of the American people.