The Senate late Thursday avoided a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday by passing a “clean” bill to extend the agency’s operations through Jan. 31, 2012.
The same bill extends highway spending through March 31, 2012, and quells fears of partisan fires reigniting in Washington.
Senators voted 92-6 to approve the measure that passed the House on Tuesday. Leaders of both parties from both chambers last weekend agreed to an extension bill lacking the policy issues that spurred a partial shutdown of the FAA this summer.
A bipartisan majority blocked amendments by Sen. Rand Paul, L-Ky., that would have limited expenditures from the Highway Trust Fund, and certain FAA spending.
Progress of the bill stalled Wednesday when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., announced his opposition. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., spent the day working out an agreement in which Coburn’s objections will be addressed when the Senate considers a permanent six-year highway bill sometime next year, according to news reports.
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