WASHINGTON — As lawmakers prepare to jet back to their home districts for recess, the House passed a bill to end air traffic controller furloughs and the major air travel delays they have been causing.
House members passed a bill Friday to give the Federal Aviation Administration more flexibility in how it implements the budget cuts caused by the sequester. Republicans have groused about the furloughs and accused President Barack Obama of playing politics and inflicting a “phony” crisis on the American people.
The bill passed with strong support: 361-41.
Several top Democrats protested the bill, saying it was not enough to address just one of the problems caused by the sequester.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer described it as “addressing this serious wound with a small band aid” and argued that Congress needed to take steps to replace the sequester as a whole.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lambasted Republicans, saying that the House was in the position of having to pass legislation to avoid further flight delays “because of the refusal of Republicans to come to the table for a conference.”
The Senate unanimously passed an identical bill Thursday night, and it now goes to Obama to be signed. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday that Obama would sign the legislation.