Senate's Failure to Fund the FAA Is Very, Very Expensive

Thousands won't be able to work now that Congress is on recess until September

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The Senate stopped short of an agreement to end the two-week-long partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday. An early afternoon plea from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to settle for the House-approved appropriations bill failed, leaving airport construction projects unfunded and thousands of workers unemployed. The lawmakers objected to cuts in subsidies for rural airports and were otherwise just "exhausted from weeks of acrimonious dealmaking over raising the government's debt limit," says Reuters. Since they're on vacation for the rest of August, it's unlikely that they'll come up with a solution before September.

According to the Associated Press's calculations, the stalemate is "stopping airport construction projects and depriving federal coffers of potentially more than $1 billion in uncollected ticket taxes." Don't expect any discounts from the airlines that are now on tax holiday, though. Most of them are pocketing the difference.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that the Senate adjourned before reaching an agreement. In fact, the Senate began its summer recess on Monday night but did not formally adjourn at the time of posting. The Senate adjourned at 6:43 p.m. without having come to an agreement on renewing FAA funding.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.