The current short-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension expires on July 15, leaving just a few short weeks for Congress to pass a short-term extension or a long term reauthorization bill.
For those of you who think it should be easy to get things liek that done – from Politico comes a story on how South Dakota’s Senior US Senator John Thune has been pushing for long-term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, but his committee counterparts in the House are only looking to put a band-aid… as well as a lot of other things on it:
THUNE TO POLITICO: ‘WE’RE GOING TO TAKE ONE MORE RUN.’ Even with the House seemingly decided on taking an extension, Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune isn’t ready to admit defeat on his hopes of getting a bill passed by the summer. We caught up with him on Monday night and updated him on the latest we’d heard from the House. Thune says he’s planning to have discussions with Shuster this week. “We’re going to take one more run at trying to get something done with this,” Thune told POLITICO. “I know there are a lot of different things, permutations of this that are being discussed right now, but I think we’ll have a better sense by the end of the week. But we’ve got a dialogue going with our counterparts in the House right now, and I’m hopeful that that will yield some sort of forward progress.”
Final thoughts: MT asked Thune if he felt frustrated about the process. Stepping onto the Senate subway elevators, he sighed. “Yeah,” he said. “Aren’t you?”
And of course, it’s never as simple as passing a bill, as the Capital Thinking blog notes…
Complicating matters, FAA reauthorization is likely the only bill with a tax title that Congress will pass this year. Because of this, Members of Congress may attempt to add contentious tax provisions to the FAA bill, making an extension into 2017 more palatable to Members who want to avoid these tax fights during the lame duck period.
As much as those such as Senator Thune wants to move forward, it’s in the face of working with others who want to kick the can down the road to keep from having to make tough calls.