Unable to pass a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, lawmakers may strip out key aviation safety regulations and attach them to another bill designed to keep the agency running for a few more months. The safety measures, drafted in response to last year's crash of a Colgan Air commuter flight, enjoy broad support on Capitol Hill, but the larger bill has been weighed down by a controversial labor provision. While separate passage of the safety rules would be politically popular, it "may lessen some of the pressure to get the rest" of the FAA bill done, warns Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.

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