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Obama signs FAA, highway-funding bill

Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama signed a bill that extends funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and federal highway projects Friday.

The House and Senate passed the funding extension bill this week, with the Senate approving it Thursday on a 92-6 vote.

The bill extends taxes that fund the FAA through January and taxes to pay for highway spending through March, The Hill reported.

The bill, which passed the House Tuesday, was the result of an agreement between House and Senate leaders.

Passage was considered urgent because FAA funding would have expired Friday without the reauthorization.

A filibuster by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., had threatened to hold up Senate approval before the deadline. Democrats had said as many as 80,000 workers could have been furloughed if FAA funding was not renewed.

In a compromise reached Thursday, Senate Democratic leaders agreed to allow Coburn and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to offer amendments on a separate disaster relief bill and allow Paul to offer two amendments to the FAA-highway funding bill, The Hill said. Both of the proposed amendments were defeated.

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