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Senators have started piling amendments on the FAA reauthorization bill, threatening to derail its passage by the May 10 deadline when the current funding extension runs out. The list includes a measure to compensate victims of nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s and a move to compel tech companies to protect children from online threats. But the most contentious amendment is a move to strip the bill of a provision to add five more long-haul slots to Reagan National Airport, which is seen as an effort by a few legislators to get more direct flights to their home constituencies.

The slot removal amendment is being championed by D.C.-area senators who say the airport is designed to serve short-haul service and the airport can’t handle more traffic. Flights to and from DCA are restricted to a 1,250-mile perimeter. “We understand the desire of senators to shorten their commutes home, but this proposal would benefit few while impacting many, first and foremost in safety but also in delays and in reducing the economic competitiveness of smaller destinations within the perimeter,” the senators from Maryland and Virginia said in a recent letter to their fellow senators.

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