The Federal Aviation Administration will partially shut down tomorrow if Congress does not agree to pass a a hotly-contested bill that would allow the agency to continue to operate, the Washington Post reports.
While air traffic controllers would remain on the job, all tax collection and “nonessential” employees—approximately 4,000 people—would be furloughed.
The dispute is between the Democrat-controlled Senate, which passed a $34.5 billion that would fund the agency for two years, and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which passed $60.1 billion bill that is good for four years. There has been intense squabbling as the two sides struggle to agree on a deal.
House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said that Senate leaders “refuse to negotiate in the best interest of the American public.” Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) replied that “the House has demonstrated that it is not serious about getting a comprehensive bill done,” according to the Post.
The FAA has operated since 2007 on a series of short-term stopgap funding measures, the 20th of which expires tomorrow.
The White House has been pressing Congress to pass a 21st stopgap measure, essentially an extension of present funding, but legislators have disagreed on union rules, rural subsidies, and air traffic control system improvements, National Journal reports.
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