What to Know in Washington: Senate Passes FAA Bill, Averts Lapse

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The Senate passed sweeping bipartisan legislation that would set aviation policy for the coming years, with provisions aiming to alleviate flight disruptions, staff up on air traffic controllers, and advance new technology.

The chamber voted 88-4 to approve the measure — which authorizes more than $105 billion through fiscal 2028 — without voting on any amendments on the floor after days of negotiations over additions that senators were seeking. House and Senate committee leaders spent months negotiating the compromise legislation (and then updated it this week with changes around automatic refund language.

The legislation, which now needs to be passed in the House, includes a contentious provision to add five additional round-trip flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The provision pitted airlines against one another and created a fight between regional and long-distance lawmakers, Lillianna Byington and Zach C. Cohen report. Read More

Also Read:

Photographer: Allison Robbert/Bloomberg
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) speak following a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday.


  • President Joe Biden will participate in campaign receptions in the Bay Area, Calif., around 4:15 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • He will then head to Seattle, where he’ll participate in a campaign reception around 10 p.m.


From BGOV’s Hill Reporters

For most of his Senate career, TED CRUZ has been a thorn in the side of his party’s leadership and the target of Democrats’ scorn for his unwillingness to abide by the chamber’s traditions of compromise and civility. But in recent months a far different side of the Texas Republican has been in evidence as he held together the bipartisan coalition necessary to usher through renewal of federal regulation of the airline industry.

As the top Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee — a job he has spent more than a decade pursuing — Cruz has played a key role in shaping the reauthorization of the FAA. Read More

Elite COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES are getting an education on Capitol Hill crisis lobbying. Many of the schools, in the congressional spotlight over campus turmoil and charges of antisemitism stemming from protests over Israel’s war in Gaza, still are unprepared for lawmakers’ long-term glare that ultimately could threaten their bottom lines, lobbyists said.

A few schools have hired new lobbyists in recent months or increased their spending on federal influence efforts, as both parties have criticized universities amid the protests. Many universities, though, have provided little evidence that they’re investing more in Capitol Hill outreach at a potentially pivotal moment for the sector.

Congressional Republicans, in particular, have taken aim at higher education with threats to their federal funding or tax status, while portraying elite schools as incubators for progressive political views. Read More

Also Happening on the Hill

Familiar names dominate the race to pick WEST VIRGINIA’S next GOVERNOR, with next-generation candidates from two political families competing against Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for the Republican nomination. But while one political heir highlights his connections, the other downplays his.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is featured in a commercial for her son, former state Rep. Moore Capito. Meanwhile, rival Chris Miller campaigns as a political outsider without mentioning in one ad, which shows his sparring in a boxing ring, that his mother Carol Miller (R) represents West Virginia in the House. Read More

Source: AdImpact
Former state legislator Chris Miller spars in a West Virginia gubernatorial campaign ad that proposes “term limits on politicians because we need new blood.”

GOP Floats Tax Disclosure Penalty Hike After IRS Contractor Leak

House Ways and Means Republicans proposed upping penalties for the unlawful disclosure of a person’s tax information, after a former IRS contractor received a five-year sentence for leaking wealthy Americans’ tax data.

Biden Names Three More Nominees to Fill Tax Court Vacancies

President Joe Biden named three more US Tax Court judge nominees, hailing from the Joint Committee on Taxation, IRS Chief Counsel’s office, and a private law firm.

Border & Defense News

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US soldiers stand under a U.S. M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Ukraine to Receive US-Made Mobile Rocket Systems Paid by Germany

Ukraine will receive three HIMARS mobile rocket systems from US stocks with Germany footing the bill, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Thursday.

Biden Targets Security Risks at Border in Asylum Restriction

US officials would make an earlier determination of whether a person’s asylum claim may be blocked on national security or public safety grounds, under a new Biden administration proposal.

Immigration Agency Response to AI Order Lags Despite Head Start

The Department of Homeland Security and other agencies overseeing immigration have been slow to meet the goals of President Joe Biden’s executive order on artificial intelligence even though they already had undertaken steps to boost foreign talent pipelines well before the order’s release.

The State of the Economy

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg
Kristin Johnson, CFTC commissioner, speaks during the Institute of International Finance (IIF) annual membership meeting in Washington on Oct. 11, 2022.

White House Poised to Nominate CFTC’s Johnson to Treasury Role

The White House is poised to nominate Kristin Johnson, a Democratic commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to fill a top role at the US Treasury Department overseeing banks, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Biden Antitrust Crackdown Is Boon for Law Firm Competition Work

President Biden’s antitrust crackdown is a boon for competition practices, demonstrated by an upstart DC boutique growing to 37 lawyers from just five two years ago.

SEC Probing Boeing’s Safety Claims After Panel Blew Off Plane

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing statements that Boeing Co. made about its safety practices following a near-tragic January accident aboard one of its 737 Max 9 planes.

Fed Remains on Track to Cut Rates in 2024, Bostic Tells Reuters

The Federal Reserve is likely still on track to lower interest rates this year, though the timing and extent of the cuts are uncertain, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic tells Reuters in an interview.

Big US Banks Tell Fed It’s Challenging to Estimate Climate Risk

Wall Street banks told the Federal Reserve that there are significant data gaps that make it tough to properly manage climate-related risks to their businesses.

What Else We’re Reading

Photographer: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg
President Joe Biden on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One on Thursday.

Biden Set to Impose Tariffs on China EVs, Strategic Sectors

President Joe Biden’s administration is poised to unveil a sweeping decision on China tariffs as soon as next week, one that’s expected to target key strategic sectors while rejecting the across-the-board hikes sought by Donald Trump, people familiar with the matter said.

Biden Urged to Halt Oil Export Projects After Terminal Approved

Climate activists who successfully pushed President Joe Biden to halt new US liquefied natural gas exports are setting their sights on proposed crude oil shipping facilities, after the administration approved a massive petroleum terminal last month.

Transmission Rules to Back Planning of Long-Range Power Lines

US energy regulators are poised to finalize two major rules next Monday aimed at accelerating the planning and permitting of long-distance electric transmission lines and ironing out disputes over who pays for those projects.

Cancer Drug Price-Cutting Pitch Mulled by HHS as Industry Waits

The Biden administration is weighing a drug pricing control proposition that attorneys and industry watchers say could bolster efforts to lower prescription costs even if it isn’t adopted.

Sotomayor Says AI Will Significantly Impact ‘How We Lawyer’

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said artificial intelligence will have a “huge” effect on the legal industry.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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