Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that the Senate may turn to the FAA reauthorization bill after the Senate dispenses with the tax extenders bill (see lead story). House and Senate staff have been meeting regularly in recent weeks in an effort to resolve the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the reauthorization bills.
AAAE staff have been meeting with key lawmakers and congressional staff to reiterate airport priorities for the final version of the FAA reauthorization bill. The association has been pressing for the House-passed proposal that would raise the PFC cap to $7 and has been urging Congress to reject a House proposal that could force airports to comply with excessive aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) standards.
Lawmakers hope to pass the final version of the bill before the current extension expires on July 3, and before adjourning for the Independence Day recess. However, a number of items still need to be resolved, including a handful of controversial issues in the House-passed bill that committee leaders will need to address.
On the airport front, lawmakers must resolve PFC and ARFF issues. Perhaps the most contentious provision in the House bill is one that would make it easier for certain FedEx workers to organize. The Senate may hold a "test vote" on the FedEx issue sometime in the next two weeks. If Congress is unable to pass the final FAA bill by July 3, lawmakers will be forced to consider yet another short-term extension.