President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday temporarily restoring full funding to the Federal Aviation Administration, breaking a political impasse and allowing roughly 4,000 furloughed federal employees to return to work.
Earlier Friday, the Senate passed the bill, which promises to restore tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry and elsewhere tied to airport improvement projects put on hold as a result of the funding shortfall.
The bill took less than one minute to pass a nearly empty Senate chamber by a legislative maneuver known as "unanimous consent," which allows as few as two senators to approve a bill so long as no objections are filed. Most members of Congress are currently away from Washington on their summer recess.
Public outrage over Congress's decision to adjourn for the summer without providing adequate funding for the approximately 4,000 employees contributed to the push for at least a short-term resolution.
The political differences that led to the funding shortfall, however, have not been resolved. Democrats and Republicans are still at sharp odds over whether to continue providing subsidies to smaller rural airports. The two parties also differ over whether to make it easier for airline employees to unionize.
Congress will have to revisit the issue within six weeks in order to avoid another lapse in funding.FULL STORY