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An FAA breakthrough?

NBC News has learned that the Senate plans to pass -- by unanimous consent -- the House-passed FAA reauthorization bill. This would have the same impact as a "clean" extension of the funding. Workers could be rehired and the impasse resolved.

The Transportation Department will release a letter shortly saying that Secretary Ray LaHood will agree to grant a waiver to the rural communities affected by the House bill. That means they will not be adversely affected.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says:

"I am pleased to announce that we have been able to broker a bipartisan compromise between the House and the Senate to put 74,000 transportation and construction workers back to work. This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain. But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that."

*** UPDATE *** In a statement, LaHood says, per NBC's Jay Blackman: "This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere. From construction workers to our FAA employees, they will have the security of knowing they are going to go back to work and get a paycheck - and that's what we've been fighting for. We have the best aviation system in the world and we intend to keep it that way."