8.05.2011

FAA shutdown: Stopgap deal to end partisan standoff


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 54429391 012598438 1 FAA shutdown: Stopgap deal to end partisan standoff The FAA shutdown has left 74,000 transportation and construction employees off work

US congressional leaders say they have reached a stop-gap deal in a funding dispute which has partially shut the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said it would approve a bill passed by the Republican-held House of Representatives.

The bill contains $16.5m (10m) of Republican-backed cuts in air service subsidies to rural communities.

The FAA partial shutdown has left 74,000 employees off work.

The Senate is expected to approve the stalled short-term funding on Friday.

"This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain," Mr Reid said on Thursday as he announced the accord.

"But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences and this agreement will do exactly that."

‘Tremendous victory’

Republicans had insisted on the $16.5m in cuts in return for restoring the FAA to full operation.

The measures only keep the US air safety agency going until mid-September, setting the stage for a fresh political row when lawmakers return from their summer break, say analysts.

Michael Steele, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, said: "We are pleased the Senate has agreed to pass the House-approved FAA extension tomorrow."

The agency was forced into partial shutdown after its operating authority expired on 23 July.

 54404158 54404157 FAA shutdown: Stopgap deal to end partisan standoff Many airlines raised their ticket prices within hours of the 23 July partial shutdown

The FAA debate was overshadowed earlier in the week by last-minute legislation passed in Congress to increase the US debt ceiling and avert a financial default.

The shutdown has been costing the federal government some $200m per week in passenger ticket taxes that could no longer be collected.

Reacting to the bipartisan agreement, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, said in a statement: "This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere."

The agreement comes a day after President Barack Obama stepped up pressure on lawmakers to find a way to end what he called a "lose-lose-lose situation".

During the political scuffle, airline passengers have not been charged for ticket taxes, which average around 10% of each fare.

But many airlines raised their fares anyway by the amounts equivalent to the taxes that were no longer being collected, within hours of the shutdown taking effect last month.

The disputed air service subsidy programme costs the federal government about $200m per year, about the amount the government lost during the first week of the FAA partial shutdown.

source: bbcuk

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bbc.news 05 Aug, 2011


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Source: http://arsipberita.com/show/faa-shutdown-stopgap-deal-to-end-partisan-standoff-283744.html
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