The House today passed H.R. 2887, the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, legislation which extends both the nation's aviation and surface transportation programs.
"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 House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI). "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."
The bill will extend the FAA operating authorities through January 31, 2012. "I have been involved in negotiations with the Senate to reach agreement on a long-term FAA reauthorization bill. We have resolved almost all differences, but there are a few remaining issues still outstanding. That being said, this reauthorization effort has gone on too long and we must get a long-term reauthorization in place," said Petri.
"Our surface transportation programs fund our highway, transit and safety programs. We have faced challenges in reauthorizing the program due to declining revenues in the Highway Trust Fund in the face of growing critical infrastructure needs. H.R. 2887 extends these programs through March 31, 2012, as we try to address programmatic and funding issues," he said.