Week ahead: Freight in spotlight if Congress can avoid a government shutdown

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Meanwhile, if the government is shut down, it could have big impacts on transportation. The Department of Transportation has said that it would have to furlough 18,000 workers if Congress does not reach an agreement to keep the government open.

The agency said it would not furlough air traffic controllers, but the potential shutdown could result in a delay in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision on allowing airline passengers to keep their electronic devices on during flights.

The FAA had been planning to receive a recommendation from a committee it created to study the impact of electronic devices on airplane safety equipment.

However, the Transportation Department said on Friday that “aviation rulemaking” would be one of the FAA’s activities that would be suspended if the government is shut down on Oct. 1.

The FAA, which is the transportation department’s largest subsidiary, would go from 46,070 employees currently to 30,556 under the department's contingency plan. 

Outside of the Capitol, The Week magazine will hold a panel discussion on “America’s Infrastructure: Crisis or Opportunity?” on Oct. 3.

The Hill’s Keith Laing will be a member of the panel.