But while Costello said the additional time could be used to finish negotiations between the House and Senate, he indicated that Republicans have so far not backed away from funding cuts and tough labor language.
"So despite assurances from our friends on the Republican side of the aisle that we would not have another FAA extension, Congress must now enact the 19th short-term extension," he added. "If the House Republicans continue to insist on these controversial poison-pill provisions, the enactment of a longterm bill this year is in serious jeopardy, and we will be back here on the floor for more extensions in the future."
The language in the GOP bill, H.R. 658, would repeal a National Mediation Board (NMB) decision that allowed unions to be formed by only counting the votes of members who vote. Prior to this 2010 decision, non-voting members were counted as "no" votes.
In early April, the House narrowly rejected a Republican amendment that would have taken this language out. The 206-220 vote was immediately seen as something that would prevent the Senate and White House from accepting the House bill.
On the funding issue, Costello said the House bill has been widely criticized for making steep cuts in FAA funding, which many said would create air safety problems. The White House has said President Obama would veto the House bill if it were presented for his signature.