House Move May Delay Medical Reform


It would appear the latest political gambit to reform pilot medical regulations will die Wednesday when the House extends existing funding for highway projects and gets ready to go on summer holiday. CNN reported House Speaker John Boehner told members Tuesday the House would vote on a three-month extension rather than consider a Senate bill that would fund transportation infrastructure projects for at least three years. Tucked into that bill is an amendment that mirrors the language of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which includes measures to end third class medical requirements for many private pilots. “We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters. Ignoring the Senate and passing the extension means Congress gets a jump on its August recess and the Hill is expected to be a ghost town by Thursday.

It’s the second setback this week for third class medical reform. Last Friday the Air Line Pilots Association wrote senators announcing its vigorous opposition to third class medical reform, saying it could provide a loophole for those with mental and physical ailments to fly through, thus endangering other aircraft. Condemnation came quickly from general aviation groups who said ALPA blindsided them with its eleventh-hour opposition. It would now appear both sides of the issue have a few months to hone their positions. The Senate bill also contained an amendment to continue funding of the Export-Import Bank, which gives loans to companies to promote U.S. exports.