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Obama to sign measure restoring controllers, but spokesman says it's a 'Band-Aid solution'

Friday - 4/26/2013, 4:41pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says President Barack Obama will sign a measure approved by Congress today that would end the furloughs of air traffic controllers. But a spokesman says it's just a "Band-Aid solution" to the problems caused by automatic spending cuts.

Controllers were furloughed for one day out of ten because of the cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal agencies. It caused a ten-percent staffing reduction in control towers, and led to hundreds of flight delays a day.

Republicans are accusing the administration of purposely furloughing the controllers in order to cause delays and pressure Congress to put back the money that had been cut.

But the White House and Democrats argue that under the law, the administration has little room to decide where the cuts fall.

In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, the money provided by the legislation that won final approval today could be used for other FAA operation, including preventing the closure of small airport towers around the country.

%@AP Links

221-a-12-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"solved this way"-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says while the administration is pleased Congress voted to end the air traffic controller furloughs, lawmakers can't keep dealing with the sequester piece-by-piece. (26 Apr 2013)

<> 00:12 "solved this way"

217-w-36-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with Congressman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman, House Transportation committee, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.)--The House has joined the Senate in approving a measure that'll put air traffic controllers back in the control towers. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (26 Apr 2013)

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220-a-17-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"the law said"-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the FAA furloughs were not the result of a manufactured crisis -- they were built into the law that Congress passed. (26 Apr 2013)

<> 00:17 "the law said"

GRAPHICSBANK: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-790 jet waiting for takeoff, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport , Seattle, Washington, over airport flight status board, on texture, partial graphic (26 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO GADG103: The control tower stands in the background as a passenger lays on the pavement outside the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, Friday, April 26, 2013, in Atlanta. Congress easily approved legislation Friday ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily, infuriating travelers and causing political headaches for lawmakers.(AP Photo/David Goldman) (26 Apr 2013)

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APPHOTO WX105: FILE - This April 23, 2013 file photo shows a United Airlines jet departing in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Congress easily approved legislation Friday ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily, infuriating travelers and causing political headaches for lawmakers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) (23 Apr 2013)

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