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Deal reached on FAA, highways

WASHINGTON – House and Senate leaders have reached a deal that averts a looming shutdown of federal highway and aviation programs, a key GOP lawmaker said Friday.

The agreement clears the way for passage next week of a single, short-term bill that extends operating authority for the Federal Aviation Administration through the end of January and highway and transit assistance programs through the end of March, Rep. John Mica of Florida, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in an interview.

Republicans have agreed not to include any spending cuts or contentious policy provisions in the bill, Mica said.

In exchange, Senate Democrats have made concessions involving some of the more difficult issues that been holding up passage of a long-term funding bill for the FAA, Mica said.

Republicans plan to bring a bipartisan bill extending both programs to the House floor for a vote on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.