Administration to Congress: Return from recess and fund FAA

The Obama administration urged Congress to return from its recess and pass clean legislation to end a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined the White House press briefing Wednesday to appeal to lawmakers to return to Washington in order to pass a funding bill for the agency, which Congress failed to do before leaving town this week.

"Congress needs to come back, resolve their differences, compromise, and put our friends and neighbors back to work," LaHood said. "Take a little detour from their own vacation, come back to Washington, and pass a clean bill ... I am asking Congress to come back."

The hangups centers around subsidies for rural airports that House Republicans cut from a short-term funding measure, and rules changes that affect union members, which is included in a long-term funding proposal.

The secretary, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama MORE (D-Nev.), urged the Senate to pass the House's short-term funding measure Tuesday — before senators left town — so that the 4,000 furloughed FAA workers could return to work. That effort failed.

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LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, has emerged as the administration's lead attack dog on the FAA legislation, functioning as a bridge between the administration's position and Republicans' position.

"They talk the talk but they have not walked the walk," he said. "Their speeches ring very hollow to 4,000 FAA employees who are furloughed."

Congress is in a pro-forma session, meaning that each chamber could pass a so-called "clean" bill by unanimous consent, without all the lawmakers having to return. LaHood said he had raised the request with Reid and Barry Jackson, the chief of staff to House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio).

If Congress were to come back to work, it would be the second straight summer that the August recess has faced a brief interruption. Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recalled Congress last summer to vote on a $26 billion bill aiding states.