Rep. Steve LaTourette (R., Ohio) told reporters at a press conference Thursday that he would be “shocked” if the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration was not resolved before next week. “That’s the rumor,” he said. “This thing will be solved this week.”
LaTourette is vice-chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on transportation, which deals with FAA funding. And while he expressed optimism that a solution to the ongoing impasse was in the offing, the eight-term congressman devoted a large portion of the press conference to expressing his frustration with the Democratic rhetoric surrounding the debate. Democratic leaders held a press conference Wednesday and accused Republicans of acting like “hostage-takers.” LaTourette said he was “offended” by the way Democrats and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former classmate and House colleague of his, have handled themselves in this confrontation. “It’s time to declare BS on the messaging here,” he said.
UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has announced a deal to end the shutdown. The deal would involve the Senate passing the House-approved short-term funding bill, which funds the agency through mid-September. Secretary LaHood will then grant waivers to a number of rural airports, letting them keep the millions of dollars in federal subsidies that would otherwise have been cut under the House bill. “This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain,” Reid said in a statement. “But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”
More on the dispute here.