Even though general aviation is gearing up once again to defeat user fees, it has become increasingly apparent that Congress is unlikely to accomplish much of anything in the way of meaningful legislation before 2014 arrives. Many believe that Washington could be mostly done making laws for the year.
According to Politico, a daily newspaper that covers national politics and is distributed free on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., and in Manhattan, top sources in both chambers were doubtful that the final eight weeks of this year would produce any legislative breakthroughs.
As November wound down, Republican and Democrat negotiators in both the House and Senate were trying to hash out a narrow budget deal and a farm bill. If either of those were to come together, it would be considered a major accomplishment.
In a meeting with his Republican colleagues last month, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) joked that the House should not even remain in session in December. As of the middle of November, the House was anticipating being in session only eight days in December after working just seven days in November.
House Republicans vowed to step up their oversight of the Obama Administration in their final 15 days of session in 2013. On the other side of the Capitol dome, the Senate was working on passing a slew of bills that the House was in no mood to take up. House GOP aides branded the increase in Senate activity an attempt to distract Americans from Obamacare’s problems.
AOPA, in a message to members soliciting contributions to its political action committee (PAC), reminded that the FAA was required to cut its spending by more than $600 million for Fiscal Year 2013 as part of “sequestration” cuts mandated by Congress. In January, the agency will face another $700 million in sequestration cuts for 2014.
“Right now, our number-one legislative priority at AOPA is to make sure those cuts aren’t unfairly aimed at general aviation and pilots like you,” wrote AOPA president and CEO Mark Baker. “By supporting our PAC, you can help put real teeth into our advocacy message. And you can make clear to our friends in Congress that, if they fight for our freedom to fly in the budget battles just ahead, they’ll be able to count on our strong support at election time.”