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US Senate votes to halt FAA furloughs

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U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., celebrated the April 25 vote by the Senate on a bill he sponsored to stop the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration workers.

Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The FAA began furloughs of 47,000 employees Sunday, April 21 because of the sequester.

Rockefeller said in a news release that the Senate worked together to avoid a total gridlock in the aviation system and avoid the real harm that widespread delays would cause the economy.

"By plugging a hole in the budget and providing the FAA with crucial funds to operate the air traffic control system, we will eliminate flight delays due to inadequate staffing and keep America moving," Rockefeller said in the news release. "This does not fix all of the problems the FAA faces because of budget cuts, especially for contract towers in rural communities.

"And it does nothing for other essential government operations and employees that also desperately need relief. But it's a start, and I'm committed to keep working on more solutions."