FAA Could Face Another Shutdown

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) — Members of the U.S. Congress say they hope to avoid another shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration this month.

A stopgap funding bill approved by Congress expires Sept. 16, and differences over a new rule by the National Mediation Board making it easier for airline and railroad workers to unionize remains unresolved, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The board’s decision has drawn criticism from Republicans in Congress as well as airlines, particularly non-union Delta, which is based in Atlanta.

A resolution by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., condemning the decision failed in a floor vote, and a funding bill provision by House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., to overturn the board’s ruling was rejected by the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate.

President Barack Obama urged Congress Wednesday to approve an extension of the FAA bill and the administration has threatened to veto any measure that would override the board’s rule change.

Short-term measures have funded the FAA since 2007 amid partisan disputes over airline industry issues.

In the spring, the House passed a four-year, $59.7 billion funding measure, while a two-year $34.5 billion version cleared the Senate.

The House has yet to appoint a committee to work out differences.

The 13-day FAA shutdown in late July and early August temporarily put out of work 4,000 employees and 70,000 contract workers, the Journal-Constitution said.

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