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Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of H.R. 3800, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2012. This bill contains a clean extension of the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to spend from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to carry out airport improvement projects at current funding levels through February 17, 2012.
Mr. Speaker, this short-term extension will hopefully provide us enough time for the House Republican leadership to finally appoint conferees to the FAA reauthorization bill, which we passed almost a year ago, work through the remaining policy issues with the other body, and send a comprehensive bill to the President.
Although this has been an unnecessarily difficult and controversial process during the first session of the 112th Congress to move the multiyear FAA reauthorization measure, I'm pleased that the House and Senate leadership recognized the importance of getting a bill completed and stepped in to help in the process.
While I will reserve judgment on a final conference report, it appears as though we are making progress, and we certainly need to avoid a repeat of the disastrous outcome that occurred this summer when the FAA was partially shut down for 2 weeks, costing taxpayers almost $400 million in lost revenue for infrastructure investment. As we move to conference, we need to enact a fair and comprehensive bill that creates jobs, furthers aviation safety, and advances our transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
Mr. Speaker, I support this short-term FAA extension in the interest of preventing another FAA shutdown in order to give us a few more weeks to produce a bipartisan reauthorization conference report that the President can sign into law.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3800, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2012, and I reserve the balance of my time.
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