The Senate cleared a funding extension for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday, ending a partial shutdown of the agency and putting about 74,000 furloughed construction workers and federal employees back to work. 

The passage of the measure was unusual in that it took place in a nearly empty chamber during one of the 10 pro forma sessions the Senate is scheduled to hold during the summer recess.

President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday afternoon.

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The vote took place under an agreement reached by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) and Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerZeal, this time from the center Juan Williams: The GOP's deal with the devil Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday that provided for passage of the House Republicans' FAA funding bill in the Senate. The bill includes controversial cuts in subsidies to rural flight service to airports in Nevada, West Virginia and Montana that cost the federal government about $16 million annually.

Some Democrats objected to those cuts, pointing out they affected the districts of top Democrats Reid, Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusClients’ Cohen ties become PR liability Green Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana Business groups worried about Trump's China tariffs plan MORE (D-Mont.). But Republicans denied that the cuts were included to target those Democrats. 

Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnMr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism MORE (R-Okla.), who fought for the cuts in the Senate, maintained a standing threat to hold up any legislation in which the cuts were not included.

Under the agreement, Republicans will allow Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to issue waivers to rural airports if they make a compelling argument for why they still require the subsidy.

The agreement also allowed the passage of the bill without calling back the entire Senate to Washington.

The bitter fight over FAA funding broke out earlier in the year after the House and Senate adopted drastically different authorization measures for the agency. 

The House version included changes to labor rules that were adopted by the National Mediation Board to make it easier for railroad and airline workers to unionize. 

In announcing the agreement on Thursday, Reid noted that since the bill only extends into September, the dispute over FAA funding is far from over. 

“This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain,” said Reid. “But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”

In the pro forma session, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) brought up the bill, H.R, 2553, or the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, and asked for passage. Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCommunity development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform Dem sen: ‘Difficult to understand’ Trump’s treatment of allies Dem sen: No military option in North Korea ‘without extreme risks’ MORE (D-Md.) gaveled the session, which lasted about 30 seconds. 

—Keith Laing contributed. Updated at 3:19 p.m.