Reid said the dispute had nothing to do with the subsidies and everything to do with a new labor law that makes it easier for airline workers to unionize.
Rockefeller said the subsidies were included in the House bill in order to force the Senate to agree to the House Republican's attempts to overturn the new labor law. He accused Republicans of doing the bidding of Delta Airlines because it is the only major airline that is not unionized and the new law could make it easier for Delta's workers to join a union.
Mica pushed back, saying in his statement, "there are no labor provisions in the House-passed extension. House Republicans don't vote in the Senate. Airlines don't vote in the Senate."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said the FAA shutdown was "another made-up crisis by Republicans" because "they want to get their way on a number of issues.
"Working men and women are out of work because of them and it is time they put the interest of jobs ahead of their own petty agenda," Boxer said. "This is government by hostage."