Reid: Deal Made to End FAA Shutdown

BY News Desk  August 4, 2011 at 4:00 PM EDT

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Roll Call file photo

Update 4:59 p.m. ET | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday afternoon that a bipartisan compromise has been reached to end the partial Federal Aviation Administration shutdown that put thousands of transportation and construction workers out of work indefinitely:

I am pleased to announce that we have been able to broker a bipartisan compromise between the House and the Senate to put 74,000 transportation and construction workers back to work. This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain. But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.

Reid did not specify details of the deal. However, other officials say they expect the Senate to accept a House-passed bill as early as Friday, The Associated Press reported.

After the deal was announced, House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said: “We are pleased the Senate has agreed to pass the House-approved FAA extension tomorrow.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, also issued a statement:

It’s clear the right wing of the GOP wants to undo worker protections and may again block progress on the FAA bill in September in order to get its way. Thankfully, for now, this deal allows the FAA to restart, maintains workers’ rights, and ensures that rural airports can get the resources they need, with language that protects deserving small communities whose airports are the lifeblood of their economies.

On Tuesday, Judy Woodruff discussed the budget impasse, which is costing the FAA millions in lost revenue, with Public Radio International’s Todd Zwillich and USA Today’s Ben Mutzabaugh:

Political Editor David Chalian contributed to this report.