In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 photo, passengers travel through an airport in Miami. Private researchers, who have analyzed federal data on airline performance, say in a report being released Monday, April 8, 2013, that consumer complaints to the Department of Transportation surged by one-fifth last year even though other measures such as on-time arrivals and mishandled baggage show airlines are doing a better job. "The way airlines have taken 130-seat airplanes and expanded them to 150 seats to squeeze out more revenue I think is finally catching up with them,” says Dean Headley, a business professor at Wichita State University, who has co-written the annual report for 23 years. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Senate passes bill to end FAA furloughs

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Amid accusations from Republicans that the White House is politicizing the sequester at the cost of everyday travelers, the Senate passed a bill late Thursday evening designed to end the air-traffic controller furloughs that are causing delays in airports across the country.

Due to sequester cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration began furloughing air traffic controllers on Sunday, resulting in large delays for air travelers.

Republicans have spent the week lambasting President Barack Obama and his administration for creating what they say is a “phony and contrived” crisis designed to make the sequester cuts seem as disastrous as possible to Americans.

The bill would give the secretary of transportation “the flexibility to transfer certain funds to prevent reduced operations and staffing of the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes,” meaning that they can cut budgets elsewhere, instead of furloughing air traffic controllers.

It passed by unanimous content, the evening before lawmakers were set to jet off to their home states for a week long recess.

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