Lawmaker responds to Jon Stewart FAA lampoon

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"He has called the sequester, 'foolish politics and foolish policy,' " Rogers spokeswoman Danielle Smoot said in a statement.

"What he was upset with was the failure of FAA to provide industry partners with meaningful granular information until the last minute on the exact air traffic controller furloughs, length, and location, in order to give the airlines and airports time to adjust and prepare," Smoot continued. "The congressman was calling out the Obama Administration’s continued attempts to use sequestration as another political game."

Stewart painted a starkly different picture for his viewers on Thursday night, showing a clip of Huerta telling Rogers "we have been talking about reduction in available controller hours for months."

"Watch Congressman Rogers confronted with the fact that he was forewarned, watch him assimilate this new information and still find a way to use it against his opponent using some kind of dick-jitsu move,"  Stewart said, before showing a clip of Rogers saying "la-ti-da, everyone knew that."

Democrats on the House Appropriations panel also pointed out during the panel's hearing on the flight delays that the FAA issued warnings, albeit without the punchlines Stewart used on Wednesday night.

"It is mystifying to me that some are surprised by these delays or blame FAA for Congress's failure," Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said at the hearing last week.

"On February 11th, the Department of Transportation told Congress that given the magnitude of budget cuts to FAA, 'it will be impossible to avoid significant employee furloughs,' requiring 'a reduction in air travel to a level that can be safely managed by the remaining staff' and causing 'delays and disruptions across the country,' " Lowey continued.

Stewart, meanwhile, criticized Congress for passing legislation to prevent the flight delays that were caused by the sequester, but not prevent other cutbacks that have been caused by the law.

"Why perchance that part of the sequester?" Stewart asked before panning to a clip of a news report stating that Congress passed the FAA bill before leaving D.C. for a week-long recess.

"Oh that's right, because it's a problem from the sequester that affects them," Stewart continued. "They don't care about Meals-On-Wheels unless it's rolling down an aisle."

Stewart then said "hopefully Congress is at least slightly embarrassed by this exercise in self-interest," before playing clips of lawmakers congratulating themselves for reaching a bipartisan agreement to end the flight delays.

As for Rogers, Stewart said "That guy there ... that's the reason peanut butter jars have to say 'manufactured in a facility that may process peanuts.' "


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