(CNN) - Forced government-wide spending cuts reduced staffing of air traffic controllers and slowed the aviation system this week, resulting in flight delays for travelers. But congressional intervention permitting new budget flexibility that allows them to return to work has, for the moment, reignited fierce political debate over spending and taxes.
President Barack Obama and some Capitol Hill Democrats complained that Washington was now unwisely picking winners and losers after congressional inaction on deficit reduction earlier this year triggered $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts.
Washington (CNN) - When Democrats unsuccessfully tried months ago to persuade Republicans to replace forced spending cuts with a mix of tax and spending cuts, they predicted the GOP would come around in the spring when the reductions kicked in and constituents started complaining about the effects – like long lines at airports and flight delays.
But now, instead of Republicans conceding, it is Democrats who are giving in to public pressure to reverse one of the most visible consequences of $85 billion in government-wide, indiscriminate spending reductions approved by Congress - cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration.
New York (CNNMoney) - Millions of travelers frustrated by airport delays may be relieved that Congress did an about-face this week, passing legislation to end the furloughs of FAA air traffic controllers.
But advocates for everyone else directly affected by the so-called sequester are miffed with the selective undoing of what were supposed to be across-the-board cuts.
(CNN) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a measure aimed at ending budget-related air traffic controller furloughs that were blamed for widespread flight delays this week.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier Friday that President Barack Obama would sign the bill, which the Senate passed Thursday night.
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate approved a measure on Thursday aimed at ending budget-related air traffic controller furloughs that have been blamed for widespread flight delays this week.
A bipartisan agreement giving the Transportation Department budget new flexibility on spending cleared the chamber unanimously.
(CNN) – The Department of Transportation will have no choice but to cut staffing of air traffic controllers if the upcoming forced spending cuts take effect, the agency's boss said Sunday, defending against allegations that the warnings are merely bluster to help the Obama administration force a deal with congressional Republicans.
As part of the forced cuts, which total $85 billion for the entire government, the Federal Aviation Administration will be required to slash $600 million from its budget. Appearing at the White House on Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned those cuts would result in major delays at American airports.
(CNN) - After passing 23 temporary extensions, the Senate voted 75 to 20 Monday to approve a long-term funding bill for the FAA and sent it to the president for his expected signature.
The measure provides about $16 billion a year for FAA operations, airport construction and modernization. It includes safety measures, such as a new satellite-based system for air traffic control, as well as other aviation programs, like one that subsidizes air travel to rural areas.
Washington (CNN) – Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill moved closer Friday to an agreement to clear a long-stalled Federal Aviation Administration bill.
They did so, according to aides in both parties, after each side compromised on several thorny labor issues that had held up negotiations over the bill that funds aviation programs and airport construction.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration through January, preventing a second shutdown of the agency that regulates air transportation.
By a 92-6 vote, the Democratic-controlled Senate approve the measure previously passed by the House, sending it to President Barack Obama's desk.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday temporarily restoring full funding to the Federal Aviation Administration, breaking a political impasse and allowing roughly 4,000 furloughed federal employees to return to work.
The measure also promises to restore tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry and elsewhere tied to airport improvement projects put on hold as a result of the funding shortfall.