FAA shutdown continues.

In the wake of Congress' failure to pass FAA Reauthorization, the US has entered the fifth day of the FAA shutdown. The economic toll is already being calculated. Secretary LaHood urged Congress to look at the larger implications of the FAA shutdown:

Here are the facts. At a time when unemployment in the construction sector is in the double digits, Congress' inaction has forced the FAA to issue stop-work orders on dozens of control tower construction projects already underway, from Wilkes-Barre to Kalamazoo, from Gulfport to Las Vegas and from Oakland to Palm Springs.

The FAA was also on the verge of selecting contractors to build new towers in Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale. These projects are now at a standstill and could be forfeited altogether if this situation continues too much longer. Even worse, $2.5 billion slated for additional airport construction is sitting idle rather than paying salaries.

Furthermore, Congress' irresponsibility has left the FAA with no choice but to put approximately 4,000 public servants on unpaid leave in 35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This includes many of the agency's top engineers, scientists, planners, analysts and program managers.

The ripple effects of this crisis will be more destructive still. Middle-class households won't receive paychecks while their bills mount. Contractors will stop buying supplies. Small-business owners will buy fewer goods.

With our fragile economy teetering, these are blows America simply can't afford.

While Congress hasn't budged on the FAA Reauthorization, nevermind the Debt Ceiling, they are demanding that the airlines stop pocketing extra fares.