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FAA Shutdown Continues: Employees Still Furloughed, Projects Stopped

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The FAA has stopped work on dozens of projects and furloughed nearly 1,000 employees after Congress failed to reach an agreement on its budget.
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The FAA has stopped work on dozens of projects and furloughed nearly 1,000 employees after Congress failed to reach an agreement on its budget.

Nearly one quarter of the 4,000 FAA employees furloughed across the country are in the D.C. area, and Congress shows no signs of reaching an agreement on this much smaller budget battle than the one on the debt ceiling dominating the discourse in Washington at the moment.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said Monday that dozens of airport modernization projects supervised by those FAA employees are now on hold.

The dispute between versions of the funding extension bill centers on $16 million in funding for rural airports, a measure which the Republican led House eliminated from their version, but which the Democratically-led Senate wants to save.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) points out that the Senate's version had support from Democrats and Republicans.

"It was bipartisan supported by the leadership of Senator Rockefeller and Senator Hutchinson," he says. "To me this is more a Senate-House squabble than it is about partisanship."

Warner says he'll be urging his Senate colleagues to reach compromise with their counterparts in the House, but he also says with so much attention on the debt ceiling, few people are talking about the FAA shutdown.

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