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UPDATE: Congress Approves Bill to End Airport Delays

UPDATED Friday, April 26, 2013 --- 11:24 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has easily approved legislation ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily.

The House approved the measure Friday on a 361-41 vote, one day after the Senate agreed to the bill. The action came with lawmakers streaming toward the doors for a week-long spring recess.

The Federal Aviation Administration has furloughed the controllers as part of the government-wide, $85 billion spending cuts called the sequester.

Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of using the controller furloughs to put political pressure on Congress to roll back all the cuts. Airline delays have infuriated travelers and caused headaches for lawmakers.

Democrats largely went along with the bill but said all the cuts should be lifted.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 --- 8:37pm

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With flight delays mounting, the Senate has passed legislation to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers.

Approval came without dissent, and long after many senators had left the Capitol for a week long vacation.

A House vote is expected as early as Friday.

Under the measure, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to "prevent reduced operations and staffing" through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

Officials said that would likely be enough to restore full staffing for the furloughed controllers, as well as prevent the closure of small airport towers.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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