Guest Post by Elana Dure
After the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) operating authority expired on July 23, Congress entered a stalemate over financing the agency and as a result FAA had a temporary shutdown which left around 74,000 employers out of work. The stalemate hindered thousands of construction projects in airports around the country. However, even without pay dozens of employers offered to continue working in order to keep the airports safe for travelers.
As a result of the stalemate, the government lost approximately $30 million tax dollars a day because FAA could no longer tax travelers. Because of this loss along with the loss of many American jobs, the Republican dominated House of Representatives passed a bill that will temporarily fund FAA until Sept. 16, with the stipulation that the bill still cuts the funding of 13 rural airports, cutting $16.5 million. Under pressure from President Barack Obama, the Democratic ruled Senate passed the bill on Friday, Aug 5.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: “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.” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (Republican) said: “This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere.”
Sources: BBC, New York Times