Reid Could Accept GOP Terms On FAA Shutdown

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August 2, 2011 11:44 a.m.
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Please see update to this story here.

With the debt-ceiling crisis now averted (for now), Congress still hasn’t settled a lesser, but still quite important, problem: A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has furloughed thousands of employees and hit the pause button on construction projects.

But fear not, Democrats could be on the verge of resolving the situation in a similar manner as they did the debt ceiling: By accepting Republican conditions.

The issue here is that the Republican-led House, which previously passed an FAA funding bill, is about to go on break again, and thus won’t respond to counter-offers from the Democratic Senate. Now, Fox News reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is signaling a willingness to accept the House version of the reauthorization, which includes the elimination of millions in subsidies for rural airline services.“Sometimes you have to be reasonable, as we learned with this big deal we’ve just done,” said Reid. “Sometimes you just have to step back and do what’s best for the country and not be bound by your personal issues, and I’m willing to give that up, and I hope the other side will do the same.”

This partial shutdown has also meant that the government was not collecting a tax on airline tickets — but as Reuters notes, the airlines have not lowered prices in the absence of the tax, but have simply been raising them back to the previous market price that had included the tax, and pocketing the difference as a windfall.

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