Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday over legislation to extend the operating authority of the Federal Aviation Administration, ending a two-week partial shutdown that furloughed 4,000 FAA workers.
The AP reports the compromise clears the way for the Senate to pass a clean extension of the FAA’s operating authority through mid-September.
The bill includes a cut in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities, a major sticking point in the impasse between Senate Democrats and House Republicans.
Republicans insisted on the cuts as necessary to pass an extension bill. The bill also includes language that allows Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to continue the subsidies if necessary.
“This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere,” LaHood said in a statement. “From construction workers to our FAA employees, they will have the security of knowing they are going to go back to work and get a paycheck – and that’s what we’ve been fighting for. We have the best aviation system in the world and we intend to keep it that way.”
Both LaHood and the White House urged Congress Wednesday to return from their August recess and extend the FAA’s authority.