Senate may offer FAA bill with cuts to rural air service

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The provision was met with resistance from the Senate and a veto threat from President Obama, leading to continued short-term bills like the 20th extension that expired 10 days ago.

The House passed its 20th extension, but added cuts to Essentail Air Services (EAS) subsidies for three airports in the home states of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).

Some observers called the proposed cuts a political strike at the Democratically-controlled Senate, though Mica has denied the standoff has anything to do about labor because the National Mediation Board rules at issue are not addressed in the short-term legislation.

Staffers for the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said a new proposal could begin moving in the chamber as early as Monday.

"At that point, the EAS issue would clearly be off the table and if the House still refuses to act it will be crystal clear that this whole exercise on their part was nothing but a political stunt to gain 'leverage' against worker right issues," the committee said in an email to reporters.