| Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Lawmakers again are running short on time to avoid a government-wide shutdown. The current government funding bill expires at midnight this Friday, Jan. 19. If no deal is passed by then, the government, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will not be funded and will shut down. In the event of a shutdown, employees who continue to work would not be paid until the government is funded, while certain FAA employees would be furloughed and may not be paid at all.
We are closely monitoring the situation and tracking possible outcomes. Congress must reach a long-term spending deal or pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR) by Friday in order to avoid a shutdown.
If the House of Representatives is able to pass a CR, it will then go to the Senate with little time left on the clock, making it difficult for individual senators to vote 'no.' The Senate outlook should become clearer once the House acts.
At this time, Congress is working on another short-term CR through Feb. 16, which would carry over the spending numbers from the previous CR and not trigger sequestration. The government is currently operating on its third consecutive CR since September 2017. Having faced multiple short-term continuing resolutions to government spending and extensions to FAA authorization in recent months, the FAA continues to be plagued by an unstable, unpredictable funding stream that is crippling our National Airspace System.
In the event that Congress does not pass a funding bill by Jan. 19, NATCA has negotiated a procedural Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the FAA to accompany the existing Furlough MOU and Questions & Answers that appear in Appendix P-4 of the Slate Book. The Appendix P-4 MOU applies to all NATCA BUEs in the FAA regardless of contract. NATCA also has worked with the FAA in recent months to ensure that the Agency's list of "excepted employees" who would not be subject to furlough is as accurate as possible.
We will continue to update you as new information becomes available.
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President