In a recent radio interview, Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, says he is willing to compromise on a funding measure for the Federal Aviation Administration.
While Mica — who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee — has faced criticism for his role in the recent FAA shutdown. Democrats have blamed him for arguing that his failure to support a provision in the FAA reauthorization bill to make it easier for airport employees to unionize was largely to blame for the shutdown.
Mica supported a provision that would cut funding for small airports in Nevada and West Virginia, which he said was a bargaining “tool,” of sorts, to gain the support of Senate Democrats. Instead of compromise, the largely party-line dispute led to the temporary FAA shutdown.
At the time, Mica was quoted as saying that he had “no idea” when the FAA shutdown would come to an end, and seemed staunch in his refusal to back down. Recently, a union representing flight attendants staged protests at Mica’s Florida offices over the lack of a permanent funding measure for the FAA. The temporary funding measure eventually approved will expire on Sept. 16.
But according to WMFE news, which recently interviewed Mica, the Florida congressman now says he is willing to compromise on union issues and “rural air service funding along with the number of flights moving in and out of Washington, D.C.’s airports.” WMFE will air its full interview with Mica on Tuesday morning. A portion can be heard here:
Though he now seems willing to compromise, Mica is still pointing the finger at Democrats. In an Aug. 12 letter to The Florida Times-Union, Mica argued that he has worked alongside fellow lawmakers on the FAA shutdown “in a cooperative manner and, in fact, supported three additional short-term extensions.” According to Mica, the short-term agreement on the FAA bill was reached after ”an unnecessary two-week delay” during which time “Democratic Senate leaders chose to demagogue the issue and attempted to cast blame.”
From Mica’s letter:
Do not buy the Democrat line that this extension included any labor provisions when in fact it only addressed pork-laden subsidies for a handful of airports.
The American people and I are tired of Congress’ inaction in addressing important policy issues.
I am determined to do everything possible to help move important legislation forward, whether it’s the long-term FAA reauthorization, a surface transportation reauthorization, or any other measures to benefit our nation’s infrastructure.