POSTED BY: KEVIN WALLACE JUNE 5, 2017
President Trump is so desperate for a win he’s literally making them up. His latest air traffic control stunt is just the latest example.
While privatizing air traffic control has been a goal of Republicans for years, actually passing legislation that would separate air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been decidedly more difficult. Even with a Republican president now in the White House, a Republican-authored bill to accomplish the privatization goal is unlikely to get enough support in the Senate to reach President Trump’s desk in its current form.
None of this stopped Trump from holding a faux-signing ceremony in the White House on Monday to kick off his “infrastructure week,” which he commemorated with an official statement flanked by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
“It is time to join the future. That is why I’m proposing new principles to Congress for air traffic control reform, making flights quicker, safer, and more reliable,” Trump said at the ceremony.
Two documents received Trump’s signature at the trumped-up signing ceremony — one that was a “decision memo,” according to a White House aide, and another that issued a set of legislative principles to Congress in privatizing air traffic control. However, neither document would actually initiate the privatization of federal air traffic control.
Currently, the only legislation that would accomplish Trump’s goal — written by House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) — didn’t even get a vote by the full House of Representatives, according to TIME. Journalist David Dayen tweeted that Rep. Shuster got the idea from an airline lobbyist he was sleeping with, a relationship Shuster himself admitted to in 2015.