FAA Shutdown to Continue as Congress Leaves

first_img Email WASHINGTON – The government is likely to lose more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes because lawmakers have left town for a month without resolving a partisan standoff over a bill to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.The government already has lost more than $200 million since airlines are unable to collect taxes on ticket sales because the FAA’s operating authority has expired.The Senate recessed on Tuesday until September, erasing any possibility for quickly resolving the issue. The House left Monday night.Caught up in the partisan acrimony are nearly 4,000 FAA employees who have been furloughed. The FAA also has issued stop work orders on more than 200 construction projects, threatening the jobs of thousands of other workers. Air traffic controllers, however, remain on the job.The debacle could have had an upside for airline passengers because ticket taxes, which typically average about $30 on a $300 round-trip fare, are suspended during the shutdown. But airlines decided to pocket the windfall. Within hours of the shutdown on July 23, most airlines raised their fares by amounts equivalent to the taxes that disappeared.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called airline CEOs to complain and lawmakers have sent letters demanding the fare hikes be reversed and the profits be placed in escrow. But their howls have largely been ignored. Airlines collectively lost about $440 million in the first six months of this year, according to the Air Transport Association.Some passengers will be due tax refunds if they bought their tickets and paid taxes before the shutdown, but their travel took place during the time airlines no longer had authority to collect the money. Airlines and the Internal Revenue Service are quarreling over who will handle the complicated and expensive process of getting those refunds to passengers.President Barack Obama implored Congress on Tuesday to settle the dispute before leaving town, calling the stalemate “another Washington-inflicted wound on America.”LaHood, a former GOP congressman, conveyed the same message in a series of private meetings on Capitol Hill and in phone calls to lawmakers, but was unable to clinch a deal.Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the FAA, held out the possibility that if the Senate were able to pass a bill acceptable to Democrats, it could still be approved by the House using obscure parliamentary procedures, and sent to the White House.But his House counterpart, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., ruled out that possibility. The only way left to end the shutdown is for the Senate to agree to a previously passed House bill containing $16.5 million cuts in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities that some Democrats — particularly Rockefeller — find objectionable.“The only one holding this up now is Mr. Rockefeller,” Mica said. One of the 13 communities that would lose subsidies is Morgantown, W.Va.The entire air service subsidy program costs about $200 million a year, roughly the amount the government lost in uncollected ticket taxes in the first week of the shutdown. The program was created after airlines were deregulated in 1978 to ensure continued service on less profitable routes to remote communities. But critics say some communities receiving subsidies are within a reasonable driving distance of a hub airport.Subsidies per airline passenger range as high as $3,720 in Ely, Nev., to as low as $9.21 in Thief River Falls, Minn., according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans were trying to force Democrats to accept policy concessions they would be unable to enact through normal legislative procedures. Democrats tried repeatedly over the past two weeks to pass a bill extending the FAA’s operating authority without the subsidy cuts, but were blocked by Republican senators each time.“Republicans are playing reckless games with airline safety,” Reid said in a statement. “We should not let ideology interfere with making sure that Americans’ air travel runs as smoothly and safely as possible.”Underlying the subsidy dispute, was a broader, more politically-charged dispute over a labor provision inserted by House Republicans into a separate, long-term FAA funding bill. The FAA’s last long-term funding bill expired in 2007. Since then, Congress has been unable to agree on a long-term plan. The agency has continued to operate under a series of 20 short-term extensions.Democrats said the air services cuts were being used as leverage to force them to give in to the House on a labor provision, which the White House has said Obama would veto. They see the provision as part of a national effort by Republicans, both in Congress and in state capitals, to undermine organized labor.The provision would overturn a National Mediation Board rule approved last year that allows airline and railroad employees to form a union by a simple majority of those voting. Under the old rule, workers who didn’t vote were treated as “no” votes.Democrats and union officials say the change puts airline and railroad elections under the same democratic rules required for unionizing all other companies. But Republicans complain that the new rule reverses 75 years of precedent to favor labor unions.“Democrats have to decide if they are going to be the handmaidens of the labor unions in every policy,” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, told reporters. “Every now and then they should put the American people first instead of their constituency.”The 13 cities targeted for air service subsidy cuts are Athens, Ga.; Morgantown, W.Va.; Glendive, Mont.; Alamogordo, N.M.; Ely, Nev.; Jamestown, N.Y.; Bradford, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Jonesboro, Ark.; Johnstown, Pa.; Franklin/Oil City, Pa.; Lancaster, Pa., and Jackson, Tenn. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

Could Les Miles leave LSU for Michigan?

first_imgMichigan made the inevitable a reality Tuesday when it fired coach Brady Hoke. One of the most famous and tradition-rich programs in college football starts its third coach search since 2007.Interim athletic director Jim Hackett will be in charge. A former Michigan football player, his career overlapped with that of LSU coach Les Miles with the Wolverines. Read into that fact what you will.Who will be the next Michigan coach? Some possibilities and why they do or do not make sense:Les Miles, LSU coach. Miles has been one of the most successful coaches in the country during his 10 years with the Tigers. He is 103-28 with a national championship and another title game appearance. The last two times the Michigan job was open, Miles came up as a possible candidate. Things are different this time around, from the people making the decisions to the people influencing those decisions. The 61-year-old Miles, who makes over $4 million per season, he has spent 10 years being under-appreciated at LSU. Maybe it’s time to go somewhere he would be embraced?Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers coach. The former Michigan quarterback turned Stanford into a power and immediately turned around a 49ers franchise that had been languishing. Signs suggest he is not coming back to college, even if his rocky time in San Francisco ends this season. Plenty of NFL teams would gladly have him. Michigan has to at least make a pitch — if it already hasn’t. And call his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, while they’re at it.Dan Mullen, Mississippi State. The Bulldogs put together a dream season and Mullen has built a program that should be successful going forward, but it’s not realistic to think he’s about to rip off a string of double-digit win seasons in Starkville, where State has the smallest athletic budget in the SEC West. The 42-year-old native Pennsylvanian has spent much of his coaching career in the Northeast and Midwest before going to Florida with Urban Meyer in 2005. He is 46-30 in six seasons at Mississippi State.Greg Schiano, former Rutgers coach. Michigan courted Schiano back in 2007. Since then, he did a short and unpleasant stint in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What Schiano did at Rutgers cannot be understated: The Scarlet Knights were barely worthy of inclusion in Division I when he took over. Now they are consistent winners. Michigan doesn’t need that kind of overhaul, but it does need somebody with a broad vision of how a top-notch program should be run from top to bottom. Having a track record of excellent academic performance by his teams helps, too.Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State defensive coordinator. If you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em. Michigan entrusting its program to a first-time head coach doesn’t seem likely. It happened with Lloyd Carr, but he was a longtime Michigan assistant. Still, the Spartans have owned the Wolverines in recent years and Narduzzi has been a big reason why. The 48-year-old Connecticut native will be a head coach at some point. Why not in Ann Arbor?Butch Jones, Tennessee coach. Jones is a Michigan native and former coach at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. He won big in both spots and now is in Year 2 of rebuilding Tennessee. He and his staff have been cleaning up in recruiting, and he got a team desperately lacking experienced players bowl eligible against a tough schedule this season. The arrow is pointing up for the Vols so it’s hard to imagine why the 46-year-old Jones would walk away from Knoxville.last_img read more

Real Madrid Return to Top of La Liga with Win over…

first_imgReal Madrid hit the summit of LaLiga again after late Sunday night away win at Real Sociedad.Both Madrid and Barcelona are tied on 65 points from 30 matches respectively but Zinedine Zidane men have the edge on head-to- head record over the Catalan club.The former champions won 2-1 and thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema at the La Reale Arena. Real Madrid had cruise control of the clash against Real Sociedad following a goalless first half.Vinicius Junior was one of the brightest players in Real Madrid’s attack, the Brazilian star was pulled down in the penalty area after a solo run from the half of the pitch and was awarded a penalty which Sergio Ramos converted for the away team.Ramos was substituted after he collided with Real Sociedad attacker Isak and the Real captain was replaced by manager Zinedine Zidane with Eder Militao.Real Madrid got the second goal after Karim Benzema controlled a high ball to make it 2-0.Merino scored for the home team in the 83rd minute after Real Madrid defence was caught open.Real Madrid held on and Zidane’s men were able to go to the top of the La Liga table with three wins in three games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Underage Interprovincial Championships Results at Slieve Russell

first_imgJohn Cullen (Team Captain) with Dave Parle (Team Manager) and the victorious Leinster Boys Under18 team (from left) Sean Doyle, Adam Smith, Paul Conroy, Eoin Murphy, Max Kennedy, Alex Maguire and Charlie Denvir at the Boys Interprovincial Matches at Slieve Russell Golf Resort today (26/07/2018). Picture by Pat Cashman Final Standings – U18 Interprovincial Championship1 Leinster (2)2 Connacht (1.5)3 Munster (1.5)4 Ulster (1)print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Under 18 Interprovincial ChampionshipUlster 3.5 Connacht 6.5 (Ulster names first)A Marshall & T McKibbin beat S Carroll & S Walker 6&5; O Maguire & J Robinson lost to L O’Neill & L Nolan 2&1; K Patton & T Punkett lost to A Hill & D Kitt 6&5; A Marshall lost to D Leufer 2 holes; T McKibbin beat S Carroll 2&1; O Maguire beat L Nolan 5&3; J Robinson halved with A Hill; S Jones lost to D Kitt 6&4; K Patton lost to S Walker 4&3; T Plunkett lost to L O’Neill 7&6 GUI Underage Interprovincial Championships at Slieve Russell Golf ClubThursday 26 July – ResultsUnder 16 Interprovincial ChampionshipMunster 0 Connacht 5 (Munster names first)M Deasy & F Hickey lost to S Murphy & G Keogh 5&3; P Naughton lost to T Higgins 1 hole; R Milne lost to D Ford 6&5; J O’Callaghan lost to P Costello 2 holes; R Fives lost to N McDermott 4&2 Denvir from Elm Park made an invaluable contribution over the three days with a perfect record in his three singles matches and two more points gained alongside Alex Maguire in foursomes. Max Kennedy from Royal Dublin was unbeaten with four wins and two halved matches.Connacht finished second after they beat Ulster 6.5-3.5 on the final day while Munster had to settle for third.Ulster retained the Under-16 Interprovincial Championship despite losing their final game.The reigning champions had two big wins against Munster (4-1) and Connacht (4.5-0.5) on the opening day. It meant that Ulster needed to garner two match points from their final encounter with Leinster to keep the trophy.It was a close-run affair in the end as Leinster claimed a 3-2 win but Conor Byrne’s 2&1 victory in the final game ensured Ulster finished first. Byrne took a maximum three points from this three matches to end the week as Ulster’s leading scorer. Leinster finished second overall with Connacht third following a 5-0 win in their closing match against Munster.In the Under-14 Championship, Munster clinched victory after a dramatic finish saw them overtake Leinster.A 4-1 win over Connacht in the final round of matches ensured that Munster finished with a superior total of match points as Leinster were surprisingly beaten 3.5-1.5 by Ulster. Just half a point separated the teams at the top.Leinster were in pole position after day one. The reigning champions recorded a 4-1 victory against Munster in their opening match before dispatching Connacht 3-2. Ulster could only salvage half a point on the first day. They halved with Connacht in their first match and were then beaten 4-1 by Munster.Going into the final, Munster needed to win well against Connacht but they also needed a favour from Ulster. And with another 4-1 win in the bag, Munster hopes were still alive.It was looking good for Leinster, who took the first point against Ulster courtesy of a one-hole win for Gavin O’Neill and Matthew Giles in the foursomes. In fact O’Neill would finish the week as the most valuable player with three points to his name.Ulster turned things around in the singles, beginning with Lewis Fox, a 3&2 winner, and the comeback continued with wins for Corey Scullion and Fionn Dobbin. The final match between Adam Buchanan and Daniel Mulligan was halved, leaving Leinster agonisingly short. Unbeaten over three days, the reigning champions defeated Ulster 7-3 and halved with Connacht and Munster on their way to the title. It was a nervous finish for Leinster, who needed Charlie Denvir to win the anchor leg against Munster to be certain of the half point they needed to top the standings.center_img Ulster 2 Leinster 3 (Ulster names first)E Rowe & A Blair lost to R Galligan & E Shipp 4&3; E McArthur lost to J Butler 2&1; J Black halved with D Marshall; J Hill halved with J McCabe; C Byrne beat D Keating 2&1 Final Standings – U16 Interprovincial Championship1 Ulster (2)*2 Leinster (2)3 Connacht (1)4 Munster (1)*Ulster win by virtue of match points won (10.5) Leinster 5 Munster 5 (Leinster names first)E Murphy & M Kennedy beat E Walsh & S O’Brien 2&1; S Doyle & P Conroy lost to A Cashin & D Raher 2 holes; C Denvir & A Maguire beat J Keane & I Halpin 3&2; E Murphy beat D Raher 4&3; A Smith lost to E Walsh 3&2; M Kennedy beat J Keane 2&1; P Conroy lost to A Cashin 1 hole; A Maguire lost to S O’Brien 4&3; S Doyle lost to J O’Riordan 2 holes; C Denvir beat I Halpin 2&1 Leinster halved with Munster on the final day at Slieve Russell to complete back-to-back wins in the Under 18 Interprovincial Championship.last_img read more