The House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Friday to give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flexibility to defray spending cuts from its budget as part of the sequester, allowing the agency to restore furloughed air traffic controllers whose absences had spurred nationwide flight delays.
The House moved quickly late Friday morning to follow the lead of the Senate, which unanimously approved legislation late Thursday evening to give the secretary of transportation increased authority to transfer funds from its existing budget to restore furloughed air traffic controllers.
The legislation heads to the White House next for President Barack Obama’s signature. White House press secretary Jay Carney said at his press briefing on Friday that Obama would sign the legislation.
Though some House Democrats griped on Friday that the air traffic controller furloughs should provide the impetus for Congress to address all of the cuts prescribed by the sequester, the House easily cleared the two-thirds procedural threshold it needed to approve the FAA patch.
So while it’s perfectly okay with the House and the Senate that hundreds of teachers get laid off from Head Start and cutbacks go into effect for other critical programs, dog forbid that some congressperson has to cool their heels at the Cinnabon at O’Hare for an extra hour because the FAA was short-staffed. Got it.