Issa to FAA: Furnish Documents on John Murtha Airport Decision

Published: May 21, 2009

WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) today, in a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator Lynne Osmus, requested documents to shed light on the decision to use $800,000 in Federal Stimulus funds to repave a secondary runway in the sparsely used airport.

“FAA funding for this little used congressional pet project contradicts the Administration’s stated goals for the Stimulus and is of little or no economic value,” said Issa.  “The FAA needs to reexamine its decision and address questions about impropriety by explaining how and why it came to its puzzling conclusion.”

News reports indicate that the decision to allocate $800,000 for repaving a sparsely used runway comes on the heels of congressional pressure to allocate money for the airport that serves an average of only 20 passengers and three flights a day.  The airport has been labeled the “Airport for Nobody.”

The letter notes, “President Obama has stressed the need to ‘make sure that every single dollar [of stimulus funding] is well spent,’ and committed that if wasteful spending is found, ‘We will call it out and we will publicize it’ and ‘put a stop to it.’  In addition, President Obama committed to spending stimulus funds on only those projects that have a demonstrated ability to ‘deliver programmatic results, achieve economic stimulus by optimizing economic activity and the number of jobs created or saved in relation to the Federal dollars obligated, achieve long-term public benefits, … and satisfy the Recovery Act’s transparency and accountability objectives.’  It is clear that this project fails to achieve any of these objectives and represents a failure to live up to the President’s promise to the American people.”

Click here to read the letter from Rep. Issa to FAA Acting Administrator Osmus.