The House could vote as soon as the week of April 23 on a multi-year extension of aviation programs that wouldn’t include a controversial air traffic control spinoff provision, several House and committee aides tell Bloomberg Government.
The Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization extends aviation programs, includes language protecting airline passengers and addresses drone access to airspace, among other items. The current authorization, a six-month extension passed in the omnibus spending bill, expires Sept. 30.
The inclusion of a provision, pushed by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), to spin off air traffic control to the private sector had kept the FAA bill from getting a floor vote in 2017. However, Shuster has agreed to drop the language to get a multi-year bill passed during this last year of his chairmanship.
Aides—on the committee and to members who sit on the committee—confirmed to Bloomberg Government the process and timeline of the bill’s progress through the House.
The House Rules Committee could issue a meeting notice as soon as April 16 to convene on April 24 to consider the bill.
The bill would have a new H.R. number and contain the text of H.R. 2997 absent the ATC language. A separate manager’s amendment would include additional changes made since the text was released. The House could then vote on the authorization bill between April 25 and April 27,m aides said.
Shuster and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) met March 21 to discuss a path toward reconciling their authorization bills (H.R. 2997), (S. 1405), Thune told Bloomberg Government shortly after the meeting.
“I think the hope is to get as much of this done in advance, find those areas of agreement that we could get sort of a four corners agreement between the Democrats in the House and Senate and the Republicans in the House and Senate on relevant committees, and try to move forward anyway,” Thune said.
The Senate is aiming for an FAA bill vote before the August recess, Thune has previously said and aides confirmed. An FAA bill could become part of a larger infrastructure push, Thune and Shuster have said.
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