U.S. House Approves Short-Term FAA Funding; Long-Term Reauthorization Possible

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 3800 by voice vote to temporarily extend Federal Aviation Administration funding through Feb. 17 through airport taxes. The Senate will take up the measure later this week. If it’s adopted by the Senate and signed by the president, it will become the 23rd short-term continuing resolution in the last five years.

Republican leaders expect the action to clear the way for a final long-term FAA reauthorization bill. The bill was approved after a brief debate in which House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) promised that a long-term reauthorization deal is now possible. According to The Hill, Congressional leaders reached a compromise on a labor issue, which has been the primary roadblack to passing a long-term FAA reauthorization.

“If we want to see Americans back to work, we’ll pass this legislation by the 17th of February, and then we’ll come back in the next week or two and we will pass a long-term infrastructure transportation measure,” Mica said.

In the past, Congressional bickering has prevented Congress from passing a long-term FAA funding bill since the last one expired in 2007. Republicans have pushed for a long-term bill with a provision that would make it more difficult for airline workers to unionize and are at odds with Democrats over millions of dollars in subsidies to rural airports.