Tag Archives: sequestration

Rep. Schiff Updates Burbank on Aircraft Noise and Impacts of Sequestration

This is the second part of a two part interview with Representative Adam Schiff  from California’s 28th District.  In this part Rep. Schiff discuses two topics important to Burbank residents – aircraft noise and the continuing impact of “sequestration” of federal funds on local social programs.

myBurbank:  The area between Interstate 5 and the Verdugo Mountain foothills is frequently overflown by aircraft from the media, law enforcement, military, and private aircraft. What news can you bring us on efforts to control or limit low-level flights and noise from aircraft, such as helicopters, in residential areas?

Rep. Schiff:  Quite a lot has been happening over the last year.  It began with several of us urging the FAA to reach out to stakeholders in Los Angeles and provide suggestions about mitigating helicopter noise.  It took about a year, and they issued their report just about a month or two ago.

Adam Schiff OfficeWe had a hearing at the Autry Center where they presented their findings.  They recommended a number of steps that could be taken to mitigate helicopter noise by changing minimum altitudes, or changing flight paths, best-practices, or pooling of press helicopters.

All of what they recommended were voluntary steps.  Voluntary steps in the past have not been sufficient, so I’ve introduced legislation to require FAA regulation in this area.

We’re going to let them see what they can accomplish on a voluntary basis.  I’m skeptical, but I think they are going to try.  The next steps are meeting with stakeholders again to prioritize.  Where are the hot spots?  Where can they provide individualized remedies?

The FAA has made the point that LA is one of the most complicated airspaces in the nation.  That is true, but that’s not a justification for doing nothing.  It simply means we have to tailor-make the solution for different areas.

It’s not that we can have a minimum altitude for all of Los Angeles.  That might be a problem over the Burbank Airport, and not a problem over the “Hollywood” sign.  There may be ways we can ensure helicopters observe flight paths over freeways rather than over residential areas.

I had a roundtable with law enforcement a couple months ago as well, and there are steps law enforcement can take to minimize their impact on the ground.  Not every flight by a law enforcement helicopter is an emergency situation.  Sometimes they are going for routine maintenance, sometimes they’ve finished patrol and they are heading back to station.

Rather than taking established flight paths that mitigate the noise they take the shortest route because (for example), it saves them fuel. So there are steps that even emergency providers can do to mitigate their impacts.

myBurbank:  Sequestration is still in effect.  Where should we expect to have the most impact?  How will this continue to impact Burbank’s quality of life?

Rep. Schiff:   I think we can expect that cuts to the Safety Net programs will be the most devastating, and cause the most pain.  The most visible cuts, air traffic controllers for example, those problems will get fixed.  Because those are very public, very prominent, but it will be the people who are on “Meals on Wheels,” or folks trying to get a Section 8 Housing Voucher because they can’t the rent otherwise.

Those who are living at the edge of poverty are going to be most impacted.

So the needs of a place like the Burbank Temporary Aid are going to be more significant because there is going to be less government assistance available.

——————-

Contact Rep. Schiff with your thoughts, ideas, concerns, or opinions at schiff.house.gov

Rep Schiff Discusses the Impact of Sequestration

On the eve of automatic spending cuts threatening to slash funding for everything from national parks to The Pentagon, every American is asking the question “why can’t our elected officials pull this together and solve this problem?”

On Thursday BurbankNBeyond posed the same question to Representative Adam Schiff (D) from California’s 28th Congressional District.

BurbankNBeyond:  Can you give us a bit of information on how we got into this mess, and why Americans shouldn’t be absolutely furious at the current situation?  What is going to happen next?

Rep. Schiff:  Well Americans should be furious about the result, as this is a man-made injury.  Our economy is poised to finally recover, and we keep getting in the way with these artificial financial crisis.

We do have a deficit and debt problem, and that has to be addressed.  But it has to be addressed in an intelligent way, where we reduce spending, where we raise revenues, and where we do this in a phased-in manner that doesn’t cause us to shift jobs and bring about a second recession.

The sequester is an across-the-board cut that cuts the good with the bad equally, and that’s the last thing we ought to be doing.

So it is excruciatingly frustrating that we are at this impasse yet again.  I think it is reflective of the decision be the house leadership to go into the sequester as a way of managing the expectations of some of the GOP members, particularly the Tea Party members.

But it is an awful price to make the country pay just for the purpose of their own internal political problems.  I hope the come to the conclusion very quickly that they need to abandon the sequester and come back to the negotiating table.

BurbankNBeyond:  Do you believe this is going to change the perception of people outside of the United States, how the United States government is managing its own affairs, or is that even important for us to consider at this point?

Rep. Schiff:  I think it is important in the sense that we’re part of a global economy.  And to the degree people lose confidence in America’s ability to govern itself, and take economic steeps it needs to take for its own prosperity has a big impact on the faith in our currency, and the faith in our political system.

But it is also very important right here at home.  We saw a downgrading of our credit rating by agencies in the last fiscal crisis.  And we’ve once again proven incapable of governing.  We could see another downgrade, and that has far-reaching consequences.

So this is something to be avoided at all costs.  And gain the result will be a loss of jobs.  Our highest priority right now should be the creation of jobs, not the loss of jobs.

If all we are concerned about is reducing the deficit and debt, sure – we can do that overnight.  We can do it to a radical degree.  But there is no question it will lead us into a recession.

We ought to reduce the deficit and balance the books in a responsible way that leads to job growth and doesn’t throw our recovery off track.