AIA Urges Capitol Hill To Finish Funding, Ex-Im Bills

 - November 22, 2019, 7:24 AM

After Capitol Hill opted for another short-term government funding measure, Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO Eric Fanning yesterday urged the passage of a full Fiscal Year 2020 appropriation, saying the workforce and economy can’t afford the prospect of continued stopgap funding or another government shutdown.

Congress this week adopted another temporary funding bill that will keep federal agencies, including the FAA, running until December 20 at Fiscal Year 2019 funding levels. The continuing resolution also extended the Export-Import Bank for that time. Its long-term reauthorization expired in September and lawmakers have yet to agree on a new reauthorization term.

The temporary spending bill is ostensibly to give lawmakers more time to hammer out details on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. Last year, Capitol Hill faced a similar deadline but lawmakers and the White House were unable to reach agreement on even a short-term extension, putting in motion what became the nation’s longest government shutdown in history.

“Once again, we face a potential shutdown that would threaten the livelihoods of many Americans in the midst of the holiday season,” Fanning said. “This continued uncertainty and delay jeopardize the strength and stability of our industry, economy, and national security.”

He also expressed concern that Congress is “on the verge of failing to reauthorize” Ex-Im, which he called a vital tool for businesses of all sizes. “Foreign competitors are using their countries’ export credit agencies—more than 110 around the world—to increase sales and gain an advantage in the market,” he said. “The Ex-Im Bank is a powerful equalizer that helps ensure lasting support for U.S. exporters as they compete in the global market. It cannot be allowed to expire.”