Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, who supports keeping the Wright Amendment, said she's enthusiastic about the agreement because it satisfies two concerns: that Fort Worth had a seat at the bargaining table and that traffic didn't increase at Love Field.
The representatives said they were impressed that the airlines and city leaders could come together on an agreement.
The law limits nonstop flights from Dallas Love Field to cities in Texas and eight nearby states.
But the agreement calls for the law to be fully repealed after eight years and caps Love Field at 20 gates. It also allows immediate through-ticketing at the 32-gate airport and creates a penalty if Southwest or American start up service at any airport besides D/FW Airport or Love Field within 80 miles.
Love, which has some of the lowest landing fees in the country, would also raise its rates to pay for a terminal upgrade to the tune of $150 million to $200 million.
But for all of that to happen, Congress first needs to pass the law by the end of the year. If not, the agreement becomes null and void.
Several delegates said the biggest obstacle to getting the deal turned into legislation and passed by Congress is time. Congress has 53 working days left before it adjourns for the year.
But Rep,. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, said he wouldn't let that stop him.
"We've got nothing but time to work on this," he said. "This is an important issue for North Texas, and we'll make the time available to work on it."
Barton added that he thinks "there's a possibility" that the bill will pass. But he stopped short of any guarantees.
"Passing anything in the Congress is always doubtful," Barton said.
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, said she's excited about the prospects the agreement creates.
"None of us made the decision tonight whether we were in support or not," she said. "What we were there for was to ask a lot of questions because this took weeks, if not months, to put together."
Barton said the delegation is comforted by the fact that the airlines and the two cities support the agreement.
He said Congress would have to really pause if it were to substantively alter the agreement as it goes through the legislative process. Even if Congress changes the agreement, the deal would hold the airlines to what they've agreed to with the penalty of giving up gates.
Other participants in the briefing included Southwest Chairman Herb Kelleher, D/FW Airport Chief Executive Jeff Fegan, D/FW Chief Operating Officer Kevin Cox, D/FW Board Chairman Jan Collmer, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce President Bill Thornton, former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen and former TXU Corp. Chief Executive Erle Nye.
Other representatives who attended were Sam Johnson, R-Plano, who co-sponsored a repeal bill with Hensarling; Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell; and Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall.
Moncrief said after the meeting that he was not disappointed with how the agreement was received by the delegates.
"It was appreciative of all of our efforts," he said. "They, too, find it hard to believe they're sitting at the table with both airlines: Herb Kelleher and Gerard Arpey sitting side by side."