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Typo or None, FAA Will Suspend Budget-Related Furloughs

Travelers Today       By    Maxine Wally

Updated: Apr 29, 2013 09:35 PM EDT

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President Barack Obama could not pass legislation to end budget cuts that have cut air traffic controllers and caused major delays for airlines nationwide, due to a typo on the bill.

The bill, proposed in Senate last Thursday, aims to ease sequester-related delays by giving the Federal Aviation Administration more freedom to transfer funds between accounts.

But its passing came to a pause once officials realized there was an 's' missing from the word "accounts," reports CNN.

If Mr. Obama signed the bill as is, it would only technically give the FAA liberty to move money to an "account."

The House fixed the typo in the initial version, and the Senate will fix their version on Tuesday.

The Senate is currently on a week-long recess.

FAA officials assure the public that all employee furloughs have been suspended, in a statement they released Saturday.

"The system will resume normal operations by Sunday," it read.

The bill will ideally protect the jobs of hundreds of air-traffic controllers working at 149 control towers in small and medium sized airports that are prepared to shut down at the hands of a tight budget.

But removing such important employees creates issues for airlines-there have been almost 3,000 delays since some 15,000 FAA traffic controllers have been let go.

The compromise has been a welcome one in Washington, in a bipartisan agreement that makes things easier without having to lay off employees or cut key departments.

Amy Klobuchar, a Senator who helped introduce the bill, claimed this was the best way to do things.

"At some point, we have to admit the best thing is to find another $2 trillion in debt reduction by looking at revenue, closing some loopholes and bringing down the debt with some spending cuts," she said, "but no one likes this." 

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