House approves temporary FAA extension bill by unanimous consent

After a brief debate, the House on Tuesday approved H.R. 1079, the 18th temporary extension of the Federal Aviation Administration. The current FAA bill expires March 31, and the House needed to quickly pass an extension in order to provide more time to consider a longer-term extension.

The non-controversial bill was approved by voice vote, and was supported by Democrats.

But a key Democrat warned that the four-year extension that Republicans are hoping to pass this week is not acceptable, as it generally reduces FAA funding to 2008 levels. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) said these cuts in H.R. 658 would hurt U.S. job creation at an uncertain time.

"Every $1 billion of federal investment in infrastructure creates or sustains approximately 35,000 jobs, yet H.R. 658 would cut the airport improvement grants for runway construction and safety enhancements by almost $2 billion," Capuano said.

House Republicans are expected to take up the four-year extension on Thursday.