The Senate approved the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” on Thursday evening–a patch to fix the sequester cuts that furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country.
The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA’s budget (but not allocated to pay for other things) to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights are on time.
It was passed by unanimous consent, so no senator objected.
The House could take up the legislation Friday and pass it with 2/3 support of that chamber.
The Act was a last minute scramble to avert a crisis that has infuriated the public and was becoming more politically problematic by the day. The rush was inspired by the looming congressional recess, which lasts all next week. Senators are leaving town Thursday night and Friday.
Trying to channel the public’s frustration (and keep themselves from being blamed for the sequester cuts), Republicans have been tweeting about airline problems, using the hashtag #ObamaFlightDelays.