Congress Considering Bill to Ease Flight Delays

Posted: Apr 25, 2013 8:43 PM

UPDATE: The Senate has passed the bill described below, and it will be taken up by the House of Representatives on Friday.

With the media reporting non-stop on flight delays affecting travelers across the country, Congress is reportedly considering a bill that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration the authority to transfer money more freely intra-agency, halting furloughs and allowing Americans a relatively ordinary air travel schedule.

As the Associated Press reports:

Under a draft compromise circulated among lawmakers, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to "prevent reduced operations and staffing" through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

Officials said they hoped for passage later in the evening, after most members of the Senate already had left the Capitol to begin a 10-day vacation.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a participant in the talks, said the measure would "prevent what otherwise would have been intolerable delays in the air travel system, inconveniencing travelers and hurting the economy."

Previously, Democrats wanted to hold all of the sequestration cuts - which would total over $100 billion over two years - hostage to FAA funding. We'll see if this all goes through acceptably, but this is certainly a positive first step for Americans who would like to see fewer delays and Democrats who would have liked to hold American travelers hostage to billions of dollars of increased spending in other areas.