Bipartisan Deal Reached To Reopen FAA (Temporarily)

Senate majority leader Henry Reid says that a bipartisan deal has been reached to end the two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Association (FAA). The impasse over FAA reauthorization had put at least 4,000 agency employees out of work, left tens of thousands workers idle at stalled construction projects at hundreds of airports around the country and cost the government more than $300 million in lost taxes on airline tickets.

The Republicans’ stated reason for the dispute was about a program providing subsidies to rural airports, the Essential Air Service. In July, the House had passed a bill temporarily allowing the FAA to conduct business while cutting $16 million from the subsidies. But Senate Democrats, says Politico, saw the cuts as part of a separate Republican goal, to make Democrats accept anti-union language included in a long-term FAA reauthorization bill.
In other words, the real reason for the shutdown was,Care2′s Jessica P wrote, about union-busting.

With it looking likely that the shutdown would  drag on past the end of August, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Congressional leaders on Thursday  that he will use his authority to waive at least some of the subsidy cuts. The Senate will now pass the bill by unanimous consent. But the reauthorization only runs through September 16 at which time the fight over unionization rules will continue.

In announcing the deal, Reid said that

“This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain. But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”

To keep airports working safely, airport inspectors, already working without pay, had been asked to charge government travel expenses to their own credit cards.

In a statement, LaHood said that “This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere” and “We have the best aviation system in the world and we intend to keep it that way.” Indeed we should, though apparently for some, partisan politics are a higher priority than keeping that aviation system going.


Previous Care2 Coverage

Republicans Shut Down the FAA

FAA Changes Schedules For Air Traffic Controllers After 8 Sleep On The Job This Year

Transportation Is a Civil Right


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Dianna M.
Dianna M.4 years ago

The Republicans keep ranting about "cutting spending" but won't cut the subsidies handed out to Big Oil, Big Ag, NASCAR, and let's not forget Mitch McConnell's 'Bluegrass Boondoggle,' the subsidy that was attached to the 2008 farm bill, which now gives a subsidy to the horse racing industry.

The 2010 campaigns were supposed to be about jobs. "We're gonna focus like a laser on jobs," promised John Boehner. Although, as one of my sisters pointed out recently, they weren't actually promising to CREATE jobs. So, yeah, I guess the Republicans have kept that one: they've focused on jobs--eliminating them--and they've done themselves proud, haven't they?

In the meantime, not only were all those people employed by the airlines industry out of work because of Republicans' posturing, there's also the $30 million in revenue lost because the sales tax on tickets purchased wasn't being collected. Lost to the government, that is--not only did the airlines themselves NOT pass the savings to their customers, I understand that a lot of them actually raised the prices.

Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone4 years ago


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.4 years ago

Republicans don't give a darn about America or Americans and they show it evryday.

Linda T.
Linda T.4 years ago

Republicans are shameless.

Billie C.
Billie C.4 years ago

things like tiny no money making air ports are what need to be cut from the budget. those are all pork projects that were given to get somebodies vote. i don't agree with shutting down the whole thing over it. there has to be a better way of doing things, but the garbage needs to be gotten rid of.

Bruce S.
Bruce S.4 years ago

If you had a choice to stop funding the subsidy of flights into a bunch of rural airports or cutting Medicaid, what would you choose? It's time to stop WASTING money on political pet projects.

Joan E.
Joan E.4 years ago

I'm glad it's over for the time being. It's another case where the right over-reached,manufactured a problem and caused the country unnecessary worry, time, worker financial loss, and financial loss to our national treasury that could have been used to solve the nation's pressing problems. This is their great cause, paid for and manipulated by the billionaires, ALEC and the Koch Brothers: destroying unions, workers, and the middle class so we'll have to emulate Rick Perry's Texas where people feel lucky to get low-wage jobs at fast food joints because it's a half-step up from starving to death.

Patricia A.

O Barry, not true. Get your facts straight!

Karen & Edward O.
Karen and Ed O.4 years ago

I still can't figure out whether the people in the House are single-minded, selfish, shameless or just plain stupid. All of the above, I guess.
One thing I have to say for them, they don't claim to care about people having jobs and act accordingly. When it comes to getting their own way, 4,000 jobs just don't matter. And now they are freely admitting that they are holding important things hostage and will continue to do so.
Is there some plan here, or are they just suicidal?

Gary A L.
GARY L.4 years ago

Barry O or should I say koch bros employee were's the info on your profile ? none there cause you're just a rightwing spin doctor, the workers of the world will rise again and scum like you will have to crawl back into your hole