US furlough of federal workers includes FAA staff

Hotel News - 25/07/2011

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The ongoing struggle to reach a settlement to the USA’s federal debt woes has left thousands of workers in the Federal Aviation Agency at home instead of work. The furlough of thousands of federal workers has forced a shut down at the FAA, which oversees the country’s aviation industry.

Airport taxes worth millions of dollars remain uncollected, after the US Congress failed to pass legislation that would keep the FAA running while politicians continue to argue over how to handle funding the government’s operation. About 4,000 0employees of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) had been told to remain at home starting Saturday.

The furlough of federal workers came after the existing congressional authorisation of several FAA programmes ran out at 12.01am on Saturday. This has left FAA staff in 35 US states, as well as those in the capital, Washington DC, and the island of Puerto Rico, are having to stay at home with no pay.

If the various separate negotiations between Congress and the White House fail to produce a deal, the furlough of FAA workers could be just the beginning of a much more widespread shutdown of government operations. Congress and the White House have been locked in talks in a bid to agree on raising the existing debt ceiling.

Failure to come to a deal before 2 August would result in a federal default. In a statement issued by the FAA over the weekend, the body said efforts were ongoing to renew the agency’s authorization as soon as possible.

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