Policy

Cantor Sells Dems' 'Cave' to Build Support for FAA Fix

Cantor is seeking to build support among Republicans for the FAA fix. Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, right, announced on the House floor Friday that he opposes the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., concerned that his conference might reject a bill that empowers the Federal Aviation Administration to work around the sequester and halt the air-traffic-controller furloughs that have been causing those annoying flight delays?

The Senate cleared similar legislation Thursday evening before leaving town for a weeklong recess and even included in the package language deeming any similar bill passed by the House as automatically approved by the Senate. Passing this legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, would appear to be a no-brainer for House Republicans, who have long argued that the sequester does not have to significantly affect critical government services if President Barack Obama applies the cuts smartly.

House Republicans have previously supported legislation that would grant Obama the power to do just that — a proposal that was rejected by both Senate Democrats and the administration until fear materialized of angry flight-delayed tarmac voters. So it was curious that Cantor, in a "Dear Colleague" letter to House Republicans announcing plans for a Friday floor vote on Latham's FAA fix, urged support for the bill by citing CQ Roll Call reporter Steven T. Dennis' tweet offering the following analysis: