Air traffic controllers get back to work after brief furloughs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you’re flying out of KCI on Monday, you should be able to avoid all the delays passengers suffered last week. That’s because air traffic controllers are no longer being furloughed.

President Obama will sign the bill on Monday, but the furloughs officially ended Sunday night. The mandatory furloughs went into effect last Monday. Air traffic controllers across the nation took one day off every two weeks — unpaid — as part of sequestration.

The furloughs caused some airports to see delays in flights, causing headaches and frustration for travelers and airport staff.

“We can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut,” President Barack Obama said. “It’s not a responsible way to govern. There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: By replacing it before it causes further damage.”

“There are some in the Obama Administration who thought inflicting pain on the public would give the President more leverage to avoid making necessary spending cuts, and to impose more tax hikes on the American people,” Rep. Bill Shuster, R-PA, said.

Here’s how they’ll pay for it: Take $253 million out of Airport Improvement Program. The total amount of grants given to airports last year equaled about $3.2 billion, which was about 8 percent of last year’s budget.

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