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As it stands, most people laid off today will not be eligible to collect federal unemployment benefits after their state benefits run out. And those collecting federal benefits could find themselves cut off before receiving the full number of weeks for which they are now eligible
The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, estimates that the spending cuts will cost the economy 323,000 jobs in 2012. It also estimates that allowing the payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment benefits to expire could cost an additional 1.5 million jobs
Washington (CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has issued additional "stop work orders" to construction and technology contractors after Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the federal agency
Congressional leaders reached agreement Thursday on temporary funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, ending a stalemate that cost 4,000 furloughed federal workers almost two weeks of pay and shortchanged the Treasury of more than $300 million.
So, why did Congress force the shutdown?
Several minor disputes have led to this impasse.
The first is an industry-backed provision by House Republicans that would make it harder for aviation and railroad workers to unionize, essentially by counting workers who didn't vote in a union election as having voted against the union. President Obama has threatened to veto any FAA bill containing this measure, but it's included in the House version of a long-term reauthorization bill anyway.
The second dispute is over a program—called the Essential Air Service Program—that provides subsidies to airlines that fly into tiny airports servicing more than 100 rural communities. House Republicans have tried to reduce those subsidies and phase them out in all states except for Alaska and Hawaii. The move has been opposed by some lawmakers whose states' subsidies will be ended.
It's worth noting that the Government Accountability Office has recommended that Congress reexamine whether funds for the Essential Air Service Program are being used efficiently. But it's also unclear whether the lawmakers who've proposed cutting the program care much about it one way or the other. Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican and chairman of the House Transportation committee, assured a conference of airport executives earlier this month that the House added the provision in a stop-gap funding bill as a bargaining chip to win concessions on the unionization issue, reported Aviation Week. "It's just a tool," Mica told the executives.