The FAA is poised to take steep cuts under the House of Representatives' version of the fiscal 2014 transportation funding bill, but air traffic controller salaries and the contract tower program would be protected.

The House transportation, housing and urban development appropriations subcommittee this week approved a fiscal 2014 funding bill that would provide FAA with $11.8 billion (not including Airport Improvement Program, or AIP, funding), $756 million below the current fiscal year and $103.3 million below the level from the automatic sequestration cuts.

Subcommittee members expressed dismay with the budget that House leaders allocated for the transportation, housing and urban development appropriations. Chairman Tom Latham (R-Iowa) says the limited budget forced “tough choices. This was not an easy task.”

The bill would provide $9.5 billion for operations and directs and that “not less than” $140 million of that amount be spend on the contract tower program. The bill also moves to prevent the air traffic controller furloughs that FAA implemented for a week in the spring to meet its required sequestration cuts.

The operations funding would be more than $200 million below the Obama administration’s request.

The facilities and equipment account would be funded at $2.2 billion, more than $600 million below request, and research, engineering and development at $145 million, $21 million below request. AIP funding, meanwhile, would be funded at $3.2 billion—$300 million above the administration’s request. The White House, however, had called for the ability of airports to increase the passenger facility program, something the House bill rejects.

The bill next moves to the full Appropriations Committee, where it is scheduled for consideration on June 27.