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Flight delay fix is a 'Band-Aid' - President Barack Obama

April 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Barack Obama is criticizing lawmakers for their solution to fix the widespread flight delays at the nation's airports.

The president said the bipartisan bill to end furloughs of air traffic controllers is a "Band-Aid" solution rather than a long-term answer to this year's $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.

The spending cuts have affected all federal agencies, and flight delays last week affected thousands of travelers.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Saturday that it had suspended all employee furloughs and that air traffic facilities would begin returning to regular staffing levels over the next 24 hours.

The FAA's statement said the air traffic system would resume normal operations by Sunday evening.

The bill marked a shift for Democrats who had hoped the impact of the cuts would increase pressure on Republicans to reverse the broad cuts.

The GOP has rejected Mr. Obama's proposal to replace the spending reductions with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

The bill was voted through the Senate on Thursday and quickly approved by the House the following day.

If the president signs the bill, it would let the FAA use up to $253 million from an airport improvement program and other accounts to halt the furloughs through the Sept. 30 end of the government's fiscal year.

The bill may solve the FAA's problem for now, the sequester problems plaguing other government agencies still remain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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