Nightly News   |  April 26, 2013

White House: Furlough solution a “Band-Aid” on economy’s wounds

Congress passed a bill Friday allowing the FAA to remove the furlough on air traffic controllers that resulted in thousands of plane delays nationwide over the past week. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening. there is nothing like thousands of delayed flights and ruined plans and pissed meetings to get the attention of congress right before they all got on a plane to leave town for a week-long break. they voted on something of a repair job for the so-called sequester budget cuts which affected air traffic controllers can, in turn, affected flights all across this country. while hardly a profile in courage by this congress, it might be a rare moment of customer service , whatever their motivation. we begin with nbc's tom costello at washington national airport again tonight. hey, tom. good evening.

>> reporter: hi, brian. republicans blamed the white house for manufacturing this whole crisis. they say it never needed to happen. the white house saying the republicans have to deal with the sequester. so this entire airline drama manufactured, create bid washington is now resolved by washington . the good news if you are traveling soon control towers and radar centers should soon be fully staffed again.

>> approaching bravo, 119.12.

>> reporter: after a week of air traffic delays caused by the budget impasse, sequester and furloughs congress voted to give the f.a.a. the ability to pay the controllers.

>> members of this house are going to run for the airports.

>> reporter: hours after voting members left capitol hill and headed to the airport for a week-long recess.

>> i don't have to now wear a mask or a disguise as i go through the airport, i'm happy to say.

>> reporter: at chicago o'hare today travellers were mostly fed up with all of washington .

>> the government just doesn't appear to be working for the people. they appear to be working for themselves p. themselves.

>> we seem to wait for the last minute for everything.

>> it's not the f.a.a. i'm cynical about.

>> reporter: anger and frustration went viral in tweets to nbc news. the only reason they want to fix the airport is so they won't be delayed home, says one. another says it's a disgrace and everyone is tired of broken government. before leaving town, members of congress offered congratulations.

>> it's nice to know when we work together we really can solve problems.

>> reporter: and accusations.

>> we are here because of a colossal failure of leadership.

>> reporter: the white house said it's not enough.

>> this is a band-aid covering a massive wound to the economy.

>> we hear a lot of complaints from readers that this is a dysfunctional government that seems unable to address the nation's biggest problems in a way that makes sense. when things go wrong they mostly blame one another.

>> reporter: so while there is money now for air traffic controllers congress hasn't addressed money for headstart, meals on wheels, fda inspectors. brian, today the army chief of staff said they had to suspend 80% of training because of the sequester. only troops going to afghanistan are now being fully trained.

>> your government at work. tom costello from washington national tonight.