TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Senate moves to halt air traffic controller furloughs

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 10:33 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — With flight delays mounting, the Senate approved hurry-up legislation on Thursday night to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers.

A House vote on the measure is expected as early as Friday, with lawmakers eager to embark on a weeklong vacation.

Under the legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

In addition to restoring full staffing to controllers, Senate officials said the available funds should be ample enough to prevent the closure of small airport towers around the country. The FAA has said it will shut the facilities as it makes its share of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts — known as the sequester — that took effect last month at numerous government agencies.

The Senate acted as the FAA said there had been at least 863 flights delayed on Wednesday “attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough.”

Administration officials participated in the negotiations that led to the deal and evidently registered no objections.

After the vote, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “It will be good news for America's traveling public if Congress spares them these unnecessary delays. But ultimately, this is no more than a temporary Band-Aid that fails to address the overarching threat to our economy posed by the sequester's mindless, across-the-board cuts.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a key participant in the talks, said the legislation would “prevent what otherwise would have been intolerable delays in the air travel system, inconveniencing travelers and hurting the economy.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Coast Guard to seek billions to protect Arctic interests
  2. Immigration work permits could rise under contract
  3. Ferguson slaying of Brown reconstructed in county autopsy
  4. Coburn’s final ‘Wastebook’ tallies $25B in what he considers ‘pork’
  5. Captive freed by North Korea enjoys tearful reunion in Ohio
  6. Social Security recipients to get increase in benefits
  7. Academic scandal at University of North Carolina bigger than previously reported
  8. Man caught jumping White House fence
  9. 8 arrested in post-game riots in Morgantown
  10. Personal use of Secret Service agents on staffer’s behalf draws investigaton
  11. Security at Capitol questioned
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.