John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, expressed confidence on Thursday that Congress will complete a bill that authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration’s operations and programs for the next four years by May 29.
Mica said that House and Senate staff members are meeting to sort out differences between the versions of FAA reauthorization that both houses passed about six weeks ago.
“We’re pre-conferencing right now and making a lot of progress, but that’s also occupying a lot of attention,” Mica said.
“It’s four years overdue, where the transportation bill is only, what, two years overdue?” Mica said, which is why he’s giving the FAA bill priority over a new six-year surface transportation bill that was expected to be passed by the committee this month.
The last FAA authorization expired in 2007, and has been extended 18 times since. After the House and Senate approved reauthorization, Congress passed Mica-sponsored bill extending the old law again to June 1.
President Obama hosted a dinner Monday night for congressional leaders of both parties.
“I also mentioned Monday night to the president they need to move forward with FAA, and also Mr. Reid (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.)” Mica said. “So we take them as we can, and we have a little bit more time on transportation -- through September – and I have a looming deadline for the end of May on FAA.”
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