Temporary Ceasefire in FAA Feud

Temporary Ceasefire in FAA Feud

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced this afternoon that the House and Senate have agreed on a temporary resolution of their differences that will allow the FAA to resume normal operations — and 70,000 construction workers to return to their job sites — while Congress is on its August break.

Senator Reid said that the fundamental differences between the two chambers are not resolved. This is just a way to fix the problem until Congress returns in September. The President and others had been pressuring Congress to resolve the issue before the House and Senate left town for their summer vacation. Most members have left already, but both the House and Senate are scheduled to meet in pro forma session tomorrow.

According to The Hill newspaper, the Senate will pass the bill that the House passed earlier. The House-passed bill contains a provision to which Senate Democrats strongly object that would cut subsidies to small airports in states like Nevada and West Virginia. The Senate had passed a “clean” bill that simply extended the FAA’s authority to collect airline taxes. Each side refused to pass the other’s bill. Under the agreement, although the Senate will pass the House bill, the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, will use his authority to waive the airports from the cuts.

The House and Senate presumably will return to their feud in September.

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