US Congressional Leaders Compromise to End FAA Shutdown

Posted August 4th, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. congressional leaders have reached a compromise to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency that oversees the nation's airlines and air safety.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the bipartisan deal late Thursday. He said it will put 74,000 transportation and construction employees back to work, but he did not specify details of the agreement.

Congressional sources say they expect the Senate on Friday to accept a compromise measure passed by the House of Representatives.

President Barack Obama praised U.S. lawmakers for the deal. In a statement, he said Americans cannot afford to let politics in Washington hamper the country's economic recovery.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the measure a “tremendous victory” for American workers everywhere.

The compromise will put some 70,000 construction workers and 4,000 government workers back to work. They had been furloughed during an FAA shutdown that lasted nearly two weeks.

On Wednesday, President Obama urged Congress to approve legislation that would fund the FAA.

LaHood said the shutdown halted $11 billion worth of airport expansion projects.

The partial shutdown, which started July 23, blocked the government from collecting taxes on airline tickets, often about $25 on a $300 round-trip flight. The shutdown cost the government about $30 million per day in lost revenue.