Airshow will fly; no shutdown hitches
The partial shutdown of the federal government has had at least a limited effect on Fayette County.
The Citizen has learned of at least one employee of the Transportation Security Administration who is being required to work without pay at Hartsfield International Airport or face losing his job.
A local high school student who had a physical scheduled as part of his ROTC duties had the checkup postponed indefinitely.
A potential bigger downside was averted by organizers of The Great Georgia Airshow, who won permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to handle their own flight control at the event instead of the FAA Tracon (Traffic Control) facility in Peachtree City. The air traffic for the airshow will be handled by the air show instead of TRACON, officials said.
A spokesperson for the FAA declined to comment on how the shutdown is affecting operations at the local TRACON facility, but said if the furlough lasts more than a few days, the FAA will incrementally recall specific employees back to work to meet safety needs. Those personnel could include safety inspectors, engineers and technical support staff, the spokesperson said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, leaders of both political parties continued to play the blame game with no progress on an agreement to fund the federal government.
House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, criticized President Barack Obama for refusing to negotiate over issues such as the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the impending debt ceiling issue and other matters.
Obama in turn has blamed Boehner for failing to allow a vote on the floor for a continuing resolution that would restore funding to all federal government operations.
U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland, who represents most of Fayette County, blamed Senate Democrats for not taking up seven separate appropriations bills “to help keep critical programs up and running during the shutdown.”
On Sept. 20 the House passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government at current year spending levels with the exception of implementing Obamacare, Westmoreland’s staff has noted.