WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed Friday a bill allowing the Federal Aviation Administration to end the furloughs of air traffic controllers that have caused nationwide flight delays.
The FAA will get flexibility to make mandated spending cuts in areas other than air traffic control.
It was only this week that the FAA began furloughing controllers to comply with the terms of the sequester, an across-the-board budget cut of $85 billion that officially took effect March 1.
The reduction in the number of controllers on duty quickly led to significant delays at major airports across the United States.
The House approved the FAA fix by a vote of 361-41, thus ratifying the Senate proposal so that all that remains is for President Barack Obama to sign the bill into law.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that while it would be “good news for America’s traveling public if Congress spares them these unnecessary delays,” the measure was “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.”
The FAA budget cut caused more than 1,200 flight delays on Monday alone. EFE