Wed, Aug 01, 2012
Voted Tuesday To Continue The Confirmation Process On The Senate Floor
The Senate Commerce Committee voted Tuesday to report out the nomination of Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to the full Senate. The move clears the way for a vote by the full body to remove the "acting" designation from Huerta's title, and start the clock on a full five-year term in the agency's top job.
The nomination was stalled in early July, when members of the committee were called away from a hearing to vote on a farm bill in the U.S. Senate, and they were unable to re-convene before the July 4th recess. The Commerce Committee vote comes just days before the Senate again adjourns for its annual August break.
Political watchers say Huerta faces an uphill battle in the full senate. If approved, his term would last a full five years regardless of the outcome of the November Presidential election. It is not known if there will be enough support in the Senate to give Huerta the top job at the FAA for a period which would last through the possible first term of a Romney administration. The two did work together before during the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Politics aside, the move was welcomed by ACI-NA president and CEO Greg Principato. “I applaud the Committee’s decision to move Acting Administrator Huerta’s nomination forward, and hope the full Senate will quickly follow their lead," he said in a statement sent to the media.
“The national aviation system is a key driver for the US economy," Principato continued. "Given the challenging fiscal times facing our country and our industry, we need a full time administrator who can dedicate the next five years to working with all the stakeholders to create a national aviation policy that will ensure we remain both an economic engine for the country and be globally competitive well into the 21st century.”
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