Senate passes bill to avoid FAA delays, layoffs

By WEEK Producer

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester.

Senators unanimously approved the "Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" -- a patch to fix the deep cuts that have 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 a on time.

It was passed by unanimous consent, which means no senator objected.

The House could take the bill up Friday. It would need 2/3 support to pass in that chamber.

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