By Nathan Hurst
Roll Call Staff
April 22, 2013, 3:44 p.m.
“Why is President Obama unnecessarily delaying your flight?” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tweeted as part of GOP lawmakers’ social media offensive. “FAA can reprioritize.”
Political finger-pointing over Federal Aviation Administration furloughs intensified Monday, with congressional Republicans orchestrating a Twitter campaign aimed at blaming the Obama administration for flight delays.
The FAA began furloughing air-traffic-control operators Sunday, insisting budget cuts mandated by the sequester (PL 112-25) leave no alternative. Critics say the FAA has more discretion than it claims to adjust other spending accounts and has implemented the furloughs to turn up pressure on lawmakers to revoke or rework the sequester.
GOP lawmakers launched a coordinated social media offensive on Twitter, using the hashtag #ObamaFlightDelays. The tweets provided commentary by House leaders such as Speaker John A. Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster.
“Why is President Obama unnecessarily delaying your flight?” Cantor tweeted. “FAA can reprioritize.”
The Republican National Committee urged passengers with delayed flights to contact the White House — and provided the telephone number to make it convenient. As of Monday afternoon, there were only a handful of airports across the country reporting delays, according to the FAA website. Charlotte Douglas International Airport was citing staffing issues for departure delays, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport cited traffic management issues for departure delays greater than 45 minutes.
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