Senators in the United States have struck an agreement to end the virtual shutdown of airport construction in the country and halted tax payments by airlines.
Construction work was halted late last month when the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued ‘stop work’ noticed on a number of projects after Congress failed to pass legislation giving it the authority for work to continue.
Led by top senate democrat Harry Reid, lawmakers had reached a stopgap earlier.
In a statement Reid said: “I am pleased to announce that we have been able to broker a bipartisan compromise between the House and the Senate to put 74,000 transportation and construction workers back to work.
“This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain.
“But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”
His comments came a day after president Barack Obama urged lawmakers to fix the situation.
The crunch forced the FAA to temporarily lay off 4,000 non-essential personnel and halt work for 70,000 workers on airport construction projects.
The Associated General Contractors of America had earlier warned these workers could all lose their jobs if the situation developed further.
The FAA has been struggling by on more than 20 temporary funding grants from the federal government amid a row between Democrats and Republicans over conditions for its long-term funding.
Under the accord, the Senate will pass the House version of the legislation on today, setting up a fresh fight on the issue in mid-September, officials said.