FAA Reauthorization Extended 14th Time

 - July 6, 2010, 12:46 PM

Before high-tailing it out of Washington, D.C., last week for what is euphemistically called the Independence Day “district work period,” Congress extended funding for FAA operations and programs for a 14th time. New reauthorization legislation has been bottled up in a conference committee that is wrangling over a knotty problem that has next to nothing to do with the FAA–a little known provision tucked into the House bill that would make it easier for ground workers at FedEx to organize a union. Congress has been unable to pass a multiyear FAA bill for almost three years, and while there are other differences between the House and Senate bills, the labor dispute involving unionized UPS and non-union ground workers at FedEx pits Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) against House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.). The Senate bill lacks the FedEx clause, and Rockefeller has said reauthorization will not pass the Senate if it includes the FedEx provision.