FAA Funding Plan Moves One Step Closer
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 09.21.07 1310 EDT: The
Senate Finance Committee has approved tax authorization for the
"American Infrastructure and Investment Act," legislation designed
to provide additional funding to modernize the nation's aviation
The National Business Aviation Association tells ANN the
legislation was approved by the Finance Committee Friday morning,
as part of Congress's multi-year funding process for the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA). It provides additional funding for
the FAA through several sources, including an increase in general
aviation fuel taxes.
"NBAA commends Senators
Baucus and Grassley and the other Finance Committee members for
their efforts to modernize the aviation system by building upon
proven, reliable, and ultra-efficient fuel taxes," said NBAA
President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We agree with the Committee that
everyone should support the NextGen effort, and that the best way
for general aviation to contribute is by 'paying at the pump.'"
As ANN reported, on Thursday
the US House of Representatives passed its version of an FAA
funding plan, H.R. 2881.
Action in the Senate Finance Committee stalled Thursday,
according to Helicopter Association International. By late Thursday
afternoon the markup was derailed when several unnamed senators
invoked an often-waived Senate rule, that prevents committees from
meeting after the chamber has been in session for two hours.
The rule is typically waived each day by unanimous consent.
As is often the case in Congress, the move appears to have been
in response to political backbiting.
The rule was invoked when it became clear that Senator Trent
Lott (R-MS) planned to offer an amendment in Finance that would
authorize some $2 billion in bonding authority for Amtrak... about
as far away from the FAA as you can imagine.
Senator Lott's proposed amendment was itself a reaction to plans
by Senator Charles E. Schumer, (D-NY) to offer his own amendment
that would authorize certain railroad funding for New York,
according to HAI.