With flight delays mounting, the Senate has passed legislation to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers.
Approval came without dissent, and long after many senators had left the Capitol for a week long vacation.
A House vote is expected as early as Friday.
Under the measure, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to "prevent reduced operations and staffing" through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.
Officials said that would likely be enough to restore full staffing for the furloughed controllers, as well as prevent the closure of small airport towers.