“The creation of this fund is actually in response to appeals from our members who want to help their colleagues through this difficult time,” Conley said in a statement.
A last-ditch effort to end the shutdown by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood failed Tuesday. LaHood tried to convince members of the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass a temporary extension approved by the Republican-controlled House that contained cuts to rural air service subsidies. The senators had misgivings about passing the extension because the House had already gone home.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated Tuesday he might be willing to accept the House bill, even though one of the airports targeted for cuts was in his home state.
But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, reiterated his insistence on a “clean” FAA bill without the Essential Air Service program cuts.
The Senate ultimately adjourned for its August recess without acting on the FAA bill, meaning the shutdown, which is estimated to cost the federal government $30 million per day, will likely continue until September.