By Robert Harding
The House of Representatives passed legislation Friday that would end furloughs for air traffic controllers, which have led to three-hour delays at Hancock Airport in Syracuse, according to U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei.
The House passed the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 by a vote of 361-41. A vast majority of Republicans and Democrats, including Maffei, D-DeWitt, supported the bill.
The furloughs were a consequence of automatic spending cuts that went into effect in March. Federal employees, including air traffic controllers, received furlough notices.
According to the Associated Press story, $253 million set aside for improvements at airports and other purposes will be used to end the furloughs and get air traffic controllers back to work.
The Senate also passed the measure and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law immediately.
Maffei is happy Congress acted and ended furloughs for the controllers.
"I am pleased the House of Representatives approved critical legislation today to prevent furloughs of air traffic controllers and widespread flight delays throughout our region and across the nation," Maffei said in a statement. "I voted for this bill because Syracuse Hancock Airport is an economic anchor that is vital to central New York's economy and we have already seen major flight delays of up to three hours because of the sequester.
"Since taking office, I've worked with leaders across central New York to ensure that families and businesses in our community have access to reliable, safe, on-time air travel. We need to get serious about addressing the fiscal challenges facing this country and work together to put real long-term solutions in place that protect jobs and ensure our economy can thrive."
Here's how the New York congressional delegation voted on the measure:
Bishop (D); Collins (R); Engel (D); Gibson (R); Grimm (R); Hanna (R); Higgins (D); Israel (D); King (R); Lowey (D); Maffei (D); Carolyn Maloney (D); Sean Patrick Maloney (D); McCarthy (D); Meeks (D); Meng (D); Nadler (D); Owens (D); Reed (R); Slaughter (D); Tonko (D)
Clarke (D); Crowley (D); Jeffries (D); Serrano (D); Velazquez (D)
NOT VOTING (1)