The Senate took the first step toward circumventing sequestration Thursday night with a bipartisan vote that would put furloughed air traffic controllers back on the job.
The House is expected to take up the measure as early as Friday, and the White House has promised to consider any bill which it receives.
The Senate vote came in response to passengers angered this week by long delays at several major airports. If the Senate bill wins House approval and is signed into law by President Obama, the furloughed controllers are not expected to return to work before Saturday.
Although fewer flights were delayed Thursday than earlier in the week, Friday is one of the busiest travel days of the week, and most members of the House and Senate planned to fly out to spend next week in their home states.
The Senate measure would give the administration flexibility to transfer money among Transportation Department accounts, creating a level of fluidity that Republicans say the department has had all along. The White House has insisted otherwise, arguing that sequestration required the across-the-board reductions that resulted in about 1,500 air traffic controllers a day having to take an unpaid day off.