Bill would cut FAA funds, undermine regulations
By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The House debated a sweeping aviation bill Thursday that would cut funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and shield industry from safety regulations being drafted by the Obama administration.

The Republican-drafted bill, a blueprint for FAA programs, would cut the agency’s budget by nearly $4 billion over the next three and a half years. The bill’s sponsors said the government can spend less on aviation oversight and still maintain air travel safety.

But Democrats said the proposed cuts to the FAA budget would force the layoff of hundreds of workers, including safety inspectors, and would likely delay modernization of the nation’s air traffic system, which is needed to accommodate forecasted increases in passengers and flights.

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