Brief Work Stoppage For FAA

After nearly two weeks of political stalemate over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, lawmakers have come to an agreement that could be finalized, to end the shutdown that sent more than 75-thousand workers and contractors home without pay. Pat Hernandez has more.

The Senate is expected to pass a short-term funding measure the House of Representatives passed 2 weeks ago.

The FAA partially shutdown July 23 after House Republicans and Senate Democrats failed to reach an agreement to continue funding the agency. At issue was the elimination of 16-million dollars in subsidies to 13 rural airports.

Houston Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee went to Bush Airport, to explain that a work stoppage would compromise safety and security here and across the country.

"In Houston, we're responsible for 231,000 jobs alone, an impact of 27 billion dollars in the region. All of these workers in the course of transportation. If you know what the tolls of those who wish to do us harm, they are transportation entities. We need to be at the top of our game on transportation."

Joel Wood is with the local Teamsters, that represent Continental mechanics and fleet service employees. He says the work stoppage affects thousands of people.

"There are people from the FAA that are on furlough right now, and there are construction projects that are on hold, literally have stopped, or have not even gotten started, because the funds have not been released."

The federal government stood to lose about 30-million dollars per day in airline ticket taxes because the FAA could not collect the taxes. But now once the deal is passed and signed, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will use his authority granted in the bill, to issue a waiver allowing some of the subsidies to continue.  

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...