The $328 billion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress to fund most federal agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2004 (until September 30) failed to provide the $100 million authorized for general aviation businesses hurt by 9/11. But, as they say in the sports world, there’s always next year.
The 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by the Senate last month failed to include funding for general aviation relief authorized by Vision 100–The Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The $100 million relief measure that would compensate general aviation businesses harmed by government action following 9/11 will have to wait until Fiscal Year 2005 for Congressional funding.
• H.R.2115, the “Flight 100-Century of Aviation Revitalization Act” introduced in May by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), was combined with S.824, the “Aviation Investment and Revitalization Act,” introduced in April by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate in late November. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for four years and provides $59 billion in funding.
• Congress closed up shop on September 29, and November 13 was set as the date for what might be a lame-duck Congress to reconvene. The long interval freed legislators who are up for election to go to their home districts and do battle for votes. Democrats are hoping that the scandals surrounding Republican congressmen will influence voters to restore the Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate.
The House of Representatives passed two key piecesof legislation last month, each containing a mandate toresume general aviation operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) within 90 days of the bills’ passage. H.R. 2360, the Department of HomelandSecurity (DHS) Appropriations Act, funds the agency for Fiscal Year 2006. H.R. 1817, the DHS Authorization Act, is the first authorization bill for the agency.
• Congress recessed for the 4th of July, as it generally does when there is a national holiday, but, before adjourning, lawmakers passed a $94.5 billion emergency spending bill that included funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, hurricane recovery on the Gulf coast, a border security plan and avian flu preparedness.
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