Republicans say Democrats are balking at ending a $16.5 million subsidy that encourages airlines to fly to 13 rural airports. Democrats say they oppose a GOP measure to make it harder for airport employees to unionize.
The Bemidji Regional Airport in Northwestern Minnesota is in the midst of a yearlong, $9-million rehabilitation project. Airport manager Harold Van Leeuwen told Here & Now's Robin Young that their project will continue for now, "We can't really stop. We head into temperatures that are 30 and 40 below and I've got a 60-foot hole in the middle of my building up here."
But Van Leeuwen said if Congress doesn't act soon, he will run out of money to pay his contractors.
- Harold Van Leeuwen, Bemidji Regional Airport manager
This segment aired on July 26, 2011.