Still smarting from concessions they were forced to make in the debt deal, Democrats are railing against a new round of Republicans "hostage-taking" -- the deadlock over temporary financing for the Federal Aviation Administration, which has forced 4,000 agency employees out of work and airport safety inspectors to continue working without pay.
Now President Obama is getting involved. Addressing reporters today, he described the legislative clash as a "lose-lose-lose situation" and urged Congress to deal with it before the end of the week, even as the August recess is going into full swing.
Democrats are blaming Republicans for the partial FAA shutdown, accusing them of reneging on their promise to put Americans back to work because the stand-off has prevented tens of thousands of construction workers to continue building airport projects.
"The FAA is in limbo. Airports are the economic engine of the small communities around the country, and that economic engine is now stuck in neutral," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters Wednesday. "Under the cover of the debt ceiling crisis, they are holding these aviation workers hostage until they get everything they want...they have taken brinksmanship again one step too far."
Democrats, including Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), Sens. Barbara Boxer (CA), Jay Rockefeller (WV), as well as House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD), called on Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to call the House back into active session and pass a clean FAA bill by unanimous consent.