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FAA Partially Shut Down

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 26 Jul 2011 05:21pm | comments

The debt limit is not the only stalemate in Congress. The House and Senate are fighting over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, an impasse that’s impacting airports in Mississippi. Patrick Terpstra has more from Capitol Hill. The F-A-A has been partially shut-down since Friday. The House and Senate could not agree on a spending plan for the agency which has forced F-A-A Administrator Randy Babbitt to halt construction on airport projects, including a 12-million dollar control tower in Gulfport.

BABBITT: Installation of the electronic equipment of the new control tower can’t begin until we have this contract maintenance inspection. The state of Mississippi itself has nearly 11 million dollars in grant money that the FAA cannot issue at this point.”

A communications system in Greenville and construction at the Greenwood airport are also on hold. The House approved a spending plan that stripped away subsidies for rural airports and limited employees’ ability to unionize, two ideas facing resistance in the Senate.

HARPER: The House has done what they’re supposed to do.

Congressman Gregg Harper says compromise may have to wait.

HARPER: A lot of the energy is consumed on dealing with the debt issue. Hopefully when that’s resolved then we’ll be able to wrap up some of these other important things.

Four thousand non-essential F-A-A employees are furloughed across the country.

From Capitol News Connection, I’m Patrick Terpstra, M-P-B News.

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