Rockefeller uses payroll tax fight to hit House GOP on FAA bill

"I have been pressing my colleagues in the House to appoint conferees on the FAA bill for nearly 10 months," he continued. "They have repeatedly refused, instead preferring to shut down the entire FAA system and make do with stopgap short-term funding extensions."

In May of this year, the House approved a four-year, $59 billion measure for the FAA, while the Senate passed a two-year, $34 billion bill for the agency. Negotiations between the chambers stalled when the House inserted a provision into its version of the bill to make it harder for railroad and aviation employees to vote to form a union.

Rockefeller, who vehemently opposed the labor provisions in the House FAA bill, said he hoped the House's eagerness to hold conferences extended to the beleaguered aviation agency.

"If the House leadership believes that conference committees are now appropriate, I hope they will move toward a conference on FAA as well, since the current extension expires next month,” Rockefeller said.