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The Senate passes GOP FAA extension after White House freaks out

Yesterday the press announced a bipartisan compromise over the FAA. Of course, that wasn’t what happened. One reporter told me that the deal was bipartisan because “that was how Reid framed it in his statement.” What really happened was that Harry Reid and Senate Democrats proved themselves to be venal, the press fell down on the job, the White House had a panic attack, and the bipartisan deal seems to be brokered between the White House’s token Republican, Ray LaHood and Harry Reid. So here’s what actually happened.

Senate Democrats decided to go home after the debt ceiling bill was passed. They ignored the FAA situation completely. A Reid staffer told the Washington Post:

But the administration’s effort faltered by late afternoon, with Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson saying that the Senate would not allow House Republicans “to jam through a policy” in a stop-gap funding extension bill.

Just a couple of hours ago, that’s precisely what happened. The Senate passed the House bill, and after a couple of weeks, construction restarts and the FAA goes back to work. So the record is clear: Harry Reid made a decision to leave 75k+ workers stranded.

But once attention shifted from the debt ceiling to the alleged “pivot” to jobs, people realized what Harry Reid’s decision meant. It meant that 75k people would be effectively unemployed. That might show up in the early September job number (recall that Congress was coming back September 7th). That’s a pretty lousy way to start a jobs pivot, eh?

So the White House freaked out. The Department of Transportation blamed Congress. The DNC claimed that Republicans weren’t compromising. But the blood was on their hands. Harry Reid left them hanging.

And this morning he ate crow and decided to let people work over his vanity. Thanks Harry. The American people know what you mean when you care about jobs… You mean fake attacks on Republicans.

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