Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Senate to Consider FAA Authorization as HR 636

The Senate will begin the pre-debate on consideration of HR 636 today. The bill passed by the House as the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 will be used as the vehicle for a long-term reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The details on the language that will be substituted for the House bill are still being developed. It will be based upon the version of S 2658 that was marked up last month in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, but there will almost certainly be additional items added to that language before it is offered, probably today. The language on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure overflights that I reported on earlier will almost certainly remain in the substitute language, though modifications are possible.

Many observers believe that this may be the last major piece of legislation that will be passed by Congress before the elections. As such it is sure to attract an extensive amendment process on the floor of the Senate. Only two proposed amendments have been published to date, but that will certainly change today.

One issue that has been holding up the publication of the substitute amendment has been the extension of tax breaks for some forms of renewable energy that were overlooked last year in the spending bill. This is one of the reasons that HR 636 will be used as the ‘vehicle’ for this bill instead of considering S 2658; tax related bills must originate in the House.


Unknown said...

You indicate "Many observers believe that this may be the last major piece of legislation that will be passed by Congress before the elections." Was wondering if you could elaborate? I wonder if you have been following the TSCA bill and think that's in the not-passed category?

Patrick Coyle said...

This has been reported by at least two news organizations, including the Hill article that I linked to in the post. TSCA is a big thing for the chemical industry and various activist groups, but I'm not sure that it counts as 'major legislation' for these commenters. Still I'm not sure that TSCA is a done deal yet, and the later we get in the session the less likely it is to pass. I hold out the best hope for that after the election.

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