"So for three airports where their passengers are being paid a subsidy of $1,500 to $3,700 — at three airports — they're closing down the FAA," Mica said. "They've had it since last Wednesday, and they've sat on it."
Mica's comments came after Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) noted the ongoing FAA shutdown, which has furloughed about 3,600 workers and threatens to put air safety at risk the longer the shutdown is in effect. Brown said it is a "really sad time" for Mica's committee.
But Mica rejected the idea that his committee is to blame.
"How could they attack me?" he said on the floor. "For four years they controlled this place with incredible numbers, huge numbers to do anything in the House, huge numbers to do anything in the Senate — four years.
"I authored the last FAA authorization in 2003 that expired in 2007, and they sat on it and never did anything," he continued. "They did 17 extensions. They forced us to do three. And I'm telling you, I've had it."
House Democrats on Tuesday put forward a clean extension that does not cut funding for the three airports, in Montana, Nevada and New Mexico.