FAA Reauthorization Weighed Down By Politics
A Republican proposal to fast-track a six-month FAA reauthorization was sidelined by Democratic objections to non-aviation programs attached to the bill. The Republican-authored measure would have increased privatization of federal flood insurance programs and offered tax credits to certain people impacted by recent hurricanes. The fast-track process requires the support of two-thirds of House members. It failed 245 to 171. Democrats sought a clean reauthorization bill. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip, wrote in a letter to his fellow house members: “Democrats support reauthorization of the FAA, which is long overdue as a result of Republicans' failure to craft a bill that can obtain bipartisan majority support. Unfortunately, now that we are just days away from the expiration of the current authorization, the Majority, without consultation or cooperation with Democrats, has added a partisan package of extraneous provisions.” The FAA’s current authorization expires Sept. 30.
Some Republicans who are opposed to ATC privatization also declined to support the bill, reports Politico. “These lawmakers think the Transportation chairman should accept that the Senate has no interest in such an overhaul and don’t want the agency to operate in fits and starts under stopgap measures,” say reporters from the beltway website. Republican House leadership is expected to bring the measure to a vote again under a different rule requiring only majority support. If it passes, it will be sent to the Senate, where Republicans have been more hostile to ATC privatization proposals than their House colleagues.