Rep. Mica Rewrites History, Politics Of His FAA Shutdown

August 16, 2011 5:28 pm ET — Alan Pyke

In a letter to the editor of the Florida Times-Union last Friday, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) attempted to rewrite the reasons behind the recent shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Unfortunately for the Republican transportation chairman, the real reasons are well documented: Mica led the GOP's effort last spring to revert to an old, anti-labor rule for union elections in FAA-regulated industries, and when Democrats rejected that move it became necessary to pass another short-term extension of FAA authority. With that short-term extension expiring, and Congress set to recess for the rest of August, Mica attempted to gain political leverage for the anti-union rule by including a cut to rural airport subsidies which would impact airports in states represented by Democratic senators.

We know that Mica's move was about leverage and not policy because he said so himself, on the record.

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."

From Aviation Week on July 19:

  • "'It's just a tool to try to motivate some action to get this resolved,' Mica says, adding that the NMB issue is being moved 'at the highest leadership levels of the House and Senate and beyond my ability to resolve.' If the NMB [labor] provision were resolved, 'the rest can fall into place within 20 minutes,' Mica says. But the NMB provision, which Delta Air Lines has lobbied to overturn, is a non-starter in the Senate, which already voted against the provision. It also faces a veto threat from the president."

Read our full fact check HERE.