House Republicans appear to have given up on pushing policy changes in stopgap spending measures. They are preparing a four-month clean extension of the Federal Aviation Administration's funding, which expires Friday, Sept. 16, and a six-month clean extension of the surface transportation funding mechanism, which expires Sept. 30.
The move puts off, for now, fights over how aviation and rail workers elect unions and whether rural airports receive too many subsidies. Those squabbles led to a partial shutdown of the FAA last month. Lawmakers were bracing for another fight over highway funding.
The clean extensions were prepared after Republicans yanked a draft FAA extension earlier Friday that included back pay for federal workers who were furloughed in August and a 5 percent overall cut. Democrats and some transportation lobbyists protested the cut.
The latest FAA measure deletes the back pay provision for furloughed workers.