Senate OKs stopgap funding for highways and FAA

September 16, 2011

By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times

In a flurry of bipartisan cooperation late Thursday, the Senate cleared a $7 billion bill to boost federal disaster funding and measures to keep theFederal Aviation Administration and federal highway spending going for the rest of this year, as lawmakers brushed aside conservatives’ concerns over the deficit.

The FAA and highway programs were extended at current funding levels after senators rejected amendments to cut their funding. The Senatealso turned back an effort to offset the additional disaster money by eliminating $7 billion in duplicative government programs — both steps Republicans had fought for.

“Today shows that the pendulum is swinging back,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, told reporters as he and fellow Democratic leaders touted the votes and said it signifies the re-emergence of a bipartisan consensus in favor of infrastructure and basic government functions.

The disaster-aid bill passed 62-37, while the bill combining the highway and FAA measures passed 92-6.

Both Democrats and Republicans seemed to lack the stomach for the kinds of fights that have dominated much of this year, which nearly brought the government to a shutdown and a potential debt default, and did leave thousands of FAA workers and contractors furloughed early last month when the House and Senate stalemated over extending the program’s authorization.

The FAA and highway bill had already passed the House and now heads to President Obama for his signature.

But the disaster-aid vote remains contentious, and at stake is the fundamental principle of whether all new spending must be offset or not.

House Republicans are working on a less-expensive bill, at $3.65 billion, that includes $1 billion in offsets, and have attached it to an omnibus bill to extend all government funding past Sept. 30, which is when the current fiscal year ends.

With much of the country touched by hurricane, tornado, wildfire or earthquake damage, the government’s main disaster-relief spending account is nearly empty. All sides agree the government has an obligation to pony up, but they disagree on whether it should be paid for by cuts elsewhere, or simply tacked onto the deficit, which is approaching $1.3 trillion.

To read more, visit:



No comments yet - you can be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep the Fake News Media in check.

Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!

We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.
View our full privacy policy.