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Down to the Wire on FAA Funding
Continuing resolution not part of ATC privatization battle
September 28, 2017 - As this week’s e-Hotline was going to press (digitally), Congress was approving a continuing resolution that would fund the FAA past Saturday’s end of the federal fiscal year. The six-month extension, which would hold FAA funding at current levels ran into what happens with many proposals — political headwinds due to unrelated amendments that caused last-second delays for legislation that would usually be passed with little opposition.
It is important to note that passage of a continuing resolution, which EAA supports to keep FAA operations running, is different from the legislation containing ATC privatization. The general aviation community continues to oppose that separate measure. Insistence on ATC privatization by its supporters is the reason that long-term funding for the FAA had not been approved to this point. The current proposed six-month extension means EAA’s call to action by its members against H.R. 2997 will continue for the coming months, as proponents of privatization push the issue.
“We are pleased that Congress is approving a continuing resolution to support the FAA personnel who maintain the world’s largest and safest aviation system without interruption,” said EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board Jack J. Pelton. “It is a shame that continued funding faces this deadline, as proper, bipartisan FAA reauthorization could have been passed some time ago, before it was delayed by the misguided chase toward ATC privatization.”
As the FAA continuing resolution moved through the House, it also attracted a number of non-aviation additions ranging from private flood insurance industry measures to post-hurricane tax credits. Those provisions helped weigh down the bill to the point where the necessary two-thirds majority under expedited voting rules could not be attained earlier this week, necessitating a full floor vote in the House. The Senate pulled the private flood insurance section from the bill and passed it, with the House scheduled to likewise later on Thursday.