Week ahead: Lawmakers turn to freight transportation

The hearing comes after the FAA announced last week that it resolved a standoff over its plans to close 149 air traffic controllers at small and mid-sized airports. The agency had planned to close the towers on June 15, but lawmakers pushed the agency to use money that was included in the bill that was passed last month to end furloughs for air traffic controllers to keep the towers open.

The FAA said the furloughs and the flight towers closures were necessary because the sequester required it to cut its budget for the rest of the year by $600 million. But Obama administration officials said at the end of last week that they would keep the towers open.

Lawmakers in the Senate will hold a hearing on Thursday to “examine partnerships to advance the business of space.”

The upper chamber will also continue debating a new version of the bill designed to boost water infrastructure, the Water Resources Development Act. The chamber debated amendments to the measure last week after a skirmish over an effort by Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE (R-Okla.) to add an unrelated measure amendment about guns to the bill.