Sen. Hoeven Introduces - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Sen. Hoeven Introduces Legislation to Address FAA Furloughs

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Democrats and Republicans in Washington are blaming each other for automatic budget cuts that led the FAA to cut back on air traffic controllers, resulting in flight delays.

Congress is working on a legislative fix, and Senator John Hoeven is part of the plan.

He joined other Senate lawmakers Wednesday, to introduce bi-partisan legislation that keeps airlines moving on schedule across the country.

"What the FAA has indicated to us, is that up to 67-hundred flights out of the roughly 23-thousand plus flights a day may be delayed because of air traffic controller furloughs. There's no reason for that," Hoeven said.

Senator Hoeven says the proposed legislation would keep air traffic controllers working, despite recent mandatory reductions to the DOT. The Dependable Air Service Act gives the DOT authority to shift funds from its general budget over to the FAA so the agency could avoid the furloughs. Hoeven says the bill will keep passengers safe and prevent flight delays.

"It's important for our families, important for our businesses, it's important for the economy of this country and it's easily solved, so let's do it."

The White House says it's willing to consider legislation. But a spokesman says it would just be a "Band-Aid measure" that wouldn't address other automatic cuts that kicked in on the first of March.

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