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Thu, Aug 04, 2011

Possible Compromise Reportedly Reached On FAA Reauthorization

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Talks Settlement

Details are still very sketchy, but multiple media sources are saying that a bipartisan compromise has been reached to end the partial shutdown of the FAA.

Multiple media sources including CBS News report that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a statement earlier today (Thursday) saying that the deal had been reached. "I am pleased to announce that we have been able to broker a bipartisan compromise between the House and the Senate to put 74,000 transportation and construction workers back to work," Reid said in a statement. "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."

About 4000 FAA employees have been idled since July 23rd when the most recent continuing resolution ran out. About 200 airport construction projects were also shut down while members of Congress haggled, affecting over 70,000 workers.

Some sources speaking on condition of anonymity say the Senate will accept a House-passed measure as early as Friday. It includes cuts to some rural airport subsidies. It does not address the ongoing labor dispute between Fed-Ex and UPS.

In a statement, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said "This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere. 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."

Congress will still have to work on a more comprehensive long-term FAA reauthorization bill when it returns from its August recess.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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