It appears political posturing is ramping up as the stalled FAA Reauthorization Bill is once again headed toward a shutdown of the FAA. In a recent meeting of the Aero Club of Washington, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee, accused the GOP of stubbornly holding up the bill in favor of one airline’s fight to stave off the unionization of its work force, and deemed it unlikely that Congress would resolve the bitter deadlock over long-term federal funding for aviation this year.
On the other hand…
At a hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, held in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Embry-Riddle’s newly renovated NextGen Test Bed at Daytona Beach International Airport, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.),chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, predicted a four-year reauthorization bill could be on the President’s desk by Christmas. Rep. Mica has declared there will not be another extension of the bill and has said that Republicans would be willing to compromise on the labor issue if the Senate would agree to allow union decertification by a simple majority vote.
Where this will ultimately end up is anybody’s guess. And, although we remain hopefully optimistic that the reauthorization bill will pass before the January 31st deadline, Capitol Hill insiders appear doubtful that the divisive issues impeding the bill will be resolved anytime soon. Click on the links below to read both sides of the issue.