The U.S. House of Representatives today approved an extension to continue programs for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as for federal highway, transit and highway safety programs.
H.R. 2887, introduced in the House by Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL), Transportation Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI), Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), unanimously passed the House.
"While this legislation signifies a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to move forward, it must not be just a temporary band-aid for our important aviation, highway, rail and safety programs and for job creation," Mica said. "To build our nation's infrastructure and put people to work, we need long-term authorizations of these programs. Unfortunately, this bill is the 22nd FAA extension and the 8th surface transportation extension. Congress has delayed passing a long-term FAA bill for over four years, and a surface transportation bill for two years. This action represents a last chance to roll up our sleeves and get transportation projects in America moving again."
"As we saw this summer with the unfortunate two-week partial shutdown of the FAA, until the Senate finally approved the House-passed extension, we cannot afford the chaos and inefficiencies of a shutdown let alone the job impact affecting both public and private sector workers," said Petri. "We need full reauthorization bills because our nation's infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and we must have a first class system to support economic growth and remain competitive in the world economy. But until we negotiate the full bills, we need these extensions."
"I am hopeful this will be our last short-term extension and a comprehensive highway bill can be passed soon," said Duncan. "By passing a long-term reauthorization bill, Americans will be able to see their tax dollars going towards rebuilding and strengthening our Nation's highways, bridges, and transit systems. It will create millions of jobs for hard working Americans right here in the United States, not in China or India, and will leave a lasting legacy of tangible improvements to our transportation infrastructure."
H.R. 2887 authorizes FAA programs through January 31, 2012 at current funding levels. The current extension authorizing FAA programs expires at the end of this week.
The legislation also authorizes federal highway, transit and highway safety programs through March 31, 2012 at current funding levels. The current extension authorizing highway, transit and highway safety programs expires at the end of September.