As Shutdown Looms, PASS Reviews Its 2017 Legislative Successes

Even as a government shutdown looms, the PASS National Legislative Committee looks back on a successful year completed. Committee Chair and PASS Chapter NG3 member Mark Dunlap reflects on the union’s accomplishments.

“As 2017 came to a close, the PASS National Legislative Committee was just as busy as they were in January, when a new administration and a new Congress were sworn into office.

“With the new political makeup in Washington, D.C. came multiple attacks on federal employee pay and benefits as well as attacks on official time. With members’ help, PASS has so far been successful in pushing back on these bills and our work will continue in 2018.

“What wasn’t new in 2017 was the attempt by some in the House of Representatives to privatize the Air Traffic Organization (ATO). By mobilizing our members at the grassroots level, PASS kept the bill from coming to a vote on the House floor.

“These battles were unprecedented and were fought against the backdrop of FAA reauthorization—including funding for the entire government. Congress passed a six-month extension for the FAA and not one but three short-term spending bills for the rest of the government, preventing a partial shutdown.

“All year, we issued action alerts to which PASS members responded by sending emails and making phone calls to lawmakers. We encouraged you to share those alerts with friends and family, so that members of Congress heard from even more constituents.

“We took action from the convention floor in July, when PASS gathered in New Orleans to conduct the union’s business. We broke from that important business to have everyone call their lawmakers, asking them to vote ‘No’ on privatization. It was quite a sight to see, so many members on their phones at the same time!

“In 2017, we conducted successful workshops in Detroit, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; and Sacramento, Calif. A workshop, including legislative visits, is scheduled near Orlando, Fla., at the end of February. Another workshop is scheduled in Baltimore on March 5, 2018, and we will take advantage of our proximity to Washington to spread out on Capitol Hill on March 6. Since FAA authorization runs out at the end of March, it’s important that even more members receive legislative training. Find out more by contacting your Legislative Committee representative.

“The more we reach out to lawmakers, the better informed they are about the threats of privatization and legislation that would impact federal employees.
“We look forward to a busy 2018, with government funding still an issue and the mid-term elections for House and Senate coming up. Thanks to all PASS members for their support!”