Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) has introduced legislation to tap into the Aviation Trust Fund for money to pay the 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers who were furloughed for two weeks while Congress debated reauthorization legislation.
“For the past two weeks it was important to get these workers back on the job. Now my focus is to get them back pay and to ensure this avoidable situation never happens again,” said LoBiondo in a written statement.
Four Republican congressmen and one Democrat have co-sponsored the bill. They include Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.). As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, Mica played an important role in the dispute that led to the 14-day furlough.
Partisan bickering erupted after the House passed reauthorization language that included a measure to roll back subsidies for service to rural airports. The furlough ended only when lawmakers agreed to postpone a decision on the subsidies and fund the FAA through mid-September.
Senate Democrats introduced in late July a similar bill to use money in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to pay the furloughed workers.