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New Bill Eases Budget Cuts For FAA

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Lawmakers are divided over a measure to give more flexibility to the FAA.
Lawmakers are divided over a measure to give more flexibility to the FAA.

Airport delays caused by the sequester may soon be a thing of the past. A new measure gives the FAA flexibility so air traffic controllers can get back to work. The bill would leave strict spending requirements in place for other parts of the government.

Critics say those budget cuts only impact a small minority of the public, like business people and lawmakers themselves, while other parts of sequestration are hitting more vulnerable populations, like low-income school children. But will just changing one agency's cuts hurt lawmakers' ability to undo other parts of the sequester that are less visible? Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine doesn't think so.

"I think we owe it to our citizens to try to find solutions," says Kaine. "Whether we're finding small ones or big ones."

The FAA bill leaves in place furloughs at other government agencies. On Thursday, Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said he'd oppose the bill, but in the end he went along with the majority of his party.

Democratic leaders vowed to oppose the bill undoing just small pieces of sequestration, but they caved to pressure from the airline industry and the flying public just before taking off for a weeklong recess.


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