Congress Sends Obama A Bill To Keep Airport Towers Staffed

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2013)--The White House says President Barack Obama will sign a measure approved Friday by Congress that would end the furloughs of air traffic controllers, but a spokesman says it's just a "Band-Aid solution" to the problems caused by automatic spending cuts.

Controllers were furloughed for one day out of ten because of the cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal agencies, which caused a 10-percent staffing reduction in control towers, and led to hundreds of flight delays a day.

Republicans are accusing the administration of purposely furloughing the controllers in order to cause delays and pressure Congress to put back the money that had been cut.

But the White House and Democrats argue that under the law, the administration has little room to decide where the cuts fall.

In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, the money provided by the legislation that won final approval Friday could be used for other FAA operation, including preventing the closure of small airport towers around the country such as those at Waco Regional Airport and Texas State Technical College Airport.

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