U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) late last week jointly introduced a bill that would extend the FAA’s authorization through July 15 and the excise taxes through March 31, 2017. The extension, the second such stop-gap measure, has been widely expected as Congress faces a March 31 deadline to act on FAA authorization.
The short-term extension is expected to easily clear both the House and Senate as lawmakers continue to work on a more comprehensive long-term bill. The Senate Commerce Committee last week unveiled its version of longer-term reauthorization legislation and is set to consider that bill on March 16.
The Senate bill does not include the controversial user-fee proposal that has appeared to stall long-term FAA reauthorization legislation in the House. Shuster, in announcing the short-term bill, reiterated that the long-term House bill, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, “represents a profound, transformational reform of our aviation system and a departure from the status quo.” He added that the short-term extension was necessary to ensure the FAA and federal aviation programs remain fully funded and functional “while both House and Senate continue efforts to move each [long-term] bill forward.”