"Sen. Alexander will use all the tools at his disposal to prevent legislation from coming to the Senate floor that singles out the way FedEx is governed under federal labor law," said Jim Jeffries, the senator's press secretary.
The Senate also faces a busy schedule for the rest of the year, and the FAA measure and its safety provisions still have to be approved by the Senate Finance Committee, which has been wrapped up for months in health care reform legislation.
Schumer said he will pressure Sen. Max Baucus, the committee's chairman, to move the FAA legislation, and an aide to Baucus said the Montana Democrat still intends to get the bill finished this year.
But House members, who finished their air safety bill in a mere three months, seem concerned.
"We have done our due diligence in the House," said Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican who weakened the 1,500-hour requirement slightly to placate flight schools, but who still supports the measure. "We all need now to work on the other body."