published Friday, April 26th, 2013

Congress OKs bill ending furloughs of air traffic controllers

A United Airlines jet departs in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
A United Airlines jet departs in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — Congress has easily approved legislation ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily.

The House approved the measure today on a 361-41 vote, one day after the Senate agreed to the bill. The action came with lawmakers streaming toward the doors for a week-long spring recess.

The Federal Aviation Administration has furloughed the controllers as part of the government-wide, $85 billion spending cuts called the sequester.

Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of using the controller furloughs to put political pressure on Congress to roll back all the cuts. Airline delays have infuriated travelers and caused headaches for lawmakers.

Democrats largely went along with the bill but said all the cuts should be lifted.

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