What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : S. 824. Fiscal 2004 FAA Reauthorization/Vote to Ban Private Companies, Which May Jeopardize Public Safety By Cutting Costs, From Performing Air-Traffic Control Duties. (2003 senate Roll Call 222)
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S. 824. Fiscal 2004 FAA Reauthorization/Vote to Ban Private Companies, Which May Jeopardize Public Safety By Cutting Costs, From Performing Air-Traffic Control Duties.
senate Roll Call 222     Jun 12, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

In June of 2002, President Bush issued an executive order determining that air-traffic control was not inherently a government function, thereby allowing air-traffic control duties to be privatized (occupations that are determined to be "inherently governmental" cannot be privatized). In Senate legislation to reauthorize spending for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provisions were included which would privatize air traffic controllers, computer system and maintenance workers, and flight service stations operated by the FAA. During debate on the legislation, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) proposed an amendment which would prevent private workers from performing those functions related to air-traffic control. In the view of Progressives, private companies should not be allowed to perform air-traffic control duties because those jobs are critical for maintaining the safety of airline passengers. Progressives worried that private companies would pay more attention to profits than public safety. Air-traffic control-an occupation which requires a strong mental focus and places tremendous pressures on individuals-should not, Progressives argued, be conducted by private companies whose hiring standards or training programs might be inferior to the standards and training for public employees. Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of Lautenberg's amendment and, with the support of eleven Republicans, the measure was passed on a 56-41 vote.

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