FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – President Obama is urging lawmakers to return from vacation and end the stalemate over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Thousands of federal workers are off the job because of the FAA shutdown. It could eventually cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.
“When ordinary citizens around the country hear that their friends and neighbors ought to be working at a construction site at an airport and they’re not because Congress couldn’t do their work; this is what infuriates the American people,” Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood said.
In Oakland, Calif., a $31 million project for a new air traffic control tower is on hold because of the FAA shutdown. It’s left 60 workers without jobs.
In Colorado a similar shutdown is taking place at the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport just as 150 workers were set to begin the work. It would have closed the airport from the Aug. 15 to Sept. 1.
“Unfortunately we’ve gone past our window of opportunity to be able to get the grant and perform the work necessary to get mobilized and situated for the 150 people who were going to come out and work on this project,” airport director Jason Licon said.
The Fort Collins-Loveland Airport got a $7.2 million project approved, but it won’t happen because Congress was not able to approve the FAA’s annual budget.
Airport officials say calling the FAA office doesn’t help because no one is at the office.