AIDS Issues Update Blog

Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS

Oh the Horror! Sequester Causes Flight Delays, Congress Acts Immediately But Forgets PLWA

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , May 02, 2013

Oh the Horror! Sequester Causes Flight Delays, Congress Acts Immediately But Forgets PLWA

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You may have heard that last week, both the Democrats and Republicans in both Houses of Congress—the House of Representatives and the Senate—approved a bill that would help limit the Sequestration’s effect on the Federal Aviation Administration, which has laid off many of its flight control operators due to the automatic budget cuts.

After the bill was passed, many officials in both houses congratulated themselves on working together and stopping the horror of flight delays, speaking to press about their accomplishment, while many of us, including people living with HIV/AIDS, older adults, teachers, students, LGBT people, the homeless, and others, were left thinking, Of all the cuts and problems the Sequester has and will cause, FLIGHT DELAYS were what prompted bipartisan action??

If you are thinking the same thing, rest assured you’re not alone. For example, The Huffington Post wrote a great article titled, “Flight Delays Deal Has Other Sequestration Victims Asking Congress, WTF?” One doctor stated, “I would invite anyone in Washington to come look my patients in the eye and tell them that waiting for a flight is a bigger problem than traveling farther and waiting longer for chemotherapy.” In addition, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show also criticized Congress, blasting them by stating, “Congress doesn’t care about Meals-on-Wheels unless it is rolling down an aisle.”

This immediate move to action to stop flight delays has lead to a fierce castigation of Congress and a general malcontent for not working harder to fix other issues caused by the Sequestration. In fact, the Coalition for Human Needs has started an email campaign to ask Congress to, well, prioritize some other more pressing issues.

The first line of their campaign is simply brilliant: “Okay – no one likes to wait at an airport. But is that the biggest problem facing our nation?”

The Coalition has also begun collecting personal stories from people all across the country and the ways that their lives have been affected by these relentless automatic budget cuts.

We hope that their campaign, as well as our voices and yours, helps spur an end to these devastating budget cuts, including over $600 million from domestic HIV/AIDS programs and services.

You can sign the Coalition for Human Needs’ petition here.

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