Congress narrowly avoided a shutdown of federal aviation programs this week by approving legislation to extend the authorizations for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Surface Transportation programs. The House passed HR 2887 by voice vote on Tuesday, which would provide a clean four-month FAA reauthorization to help avoid another partial shutdown of aviation programs and give lawmakers the rest of the year to resolve differences on a multi-year reauthorization. The bill also would reauthorize for six months surface transportation programs, in order to allow the House and the Senate more time to pass long term reauthorization bills.
On the House floor Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) gave a rousing speech urging his colleagues to pass the extension and called for the passage of a fully funded long term surface transportation bill. Congressman Blumenauer, an ASCE Honorary Fellow, has historically been a firm supporter of increased federal investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to extend these programs and even though some Senators had voiced concern over not making cuts to the programs, the measure passed with an overwhelming majority. The vote had 92 Senators voting in favor of the bill. Only six Senators voted against the bill: Senators Coburn (R-OK), DeMint (R-SC), Johnson (R-WI), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY) and Toomey (R-PA). Two Senators decided to abstain from the vote: Senators Kohl (D-WI) and Rubio (R-FL). President Obama is expected to sign this bill today.
ASCE urges Key Contacts to thank their members of Congress for passing the FAA and surface transportation extension!
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