Priebus: Flight delays a 'total loss' for Obama

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, claimed on Friday night that the dispute over flight delays was a "total, total loss" for President Obama.

"They've totally lost their position and what they thought was going be their leverage on this. It's a total, total loss," Priebus said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News's "On the Record."

"I mean, it was just a 100 percent loser for the president and the Democrats," Preibus said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began furloughing employees this week, including air traffic controllers, as a part of automatic budget cuts required by sequestration. The furloughs resulted in long flight delays for passengers across the country.

Congress passed legislation this week restructuring the $600 million FAA cuts to avoid the flight delays. President Obama has said he will sign it.

Priebus said people became "livid" waiting hours for flights and put political pressure on Obama and the Democrats to accept the legislative fix.

The administration had previously argued that any legislative solution should address sequestration as a whole, and not spare particular programs. The White House has insisted on a "balanced" approach that would include at least some tax increases for high-income earners.

But Priebus said the dispute over the FAA cuts will now serve as a model for reshaping the sequester to force the administration to target specific programs.

"So now the consequences of what happened today is that in the future, next week, the week after, when every one of these things pop up…  now we have a plan," Priebus said. "And the plan is going be that the flexibility is going to be given to the department, and they're going to be able to decide what to spend money on and what not to." 

In his weekly address on Saturday, President Obama said that the fix to the air traffic delays is only a "Band-Aid" and not a model for addressing the rest of the sequestration cuts.  

"These cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people. And we can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut. It’s not a responsible way to govern," Obama said. "There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: by replacing it before it causes further damage."

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