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Public Statements

FAA Reauthorization

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JOHNSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of a quick conclusion and passage of a multi-year Federal Aviation Administration Authorization. On Friday afternoon, I was pleased to see that a compromise was reached regarding language on union elections under the National Mediation Board. It was almost a year ago on February 11, 2011 that the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act was introduced. During this time, Congress passed five extensions contributing to the now 23 short-term extensions that the FAA has operated under for several years.

Twenty-three times the FAA and thousands of employees who rely on the FAA have faced potential shutdowns and uncertainty due to Congressional inaction, with one two-week shutdown resulting in millions of dollars in lost federal revenue. The impact of these extensions is not limited to instability for Americans in the aviation industry and a loss of federal revenue.

The lack of a multi-year authorization has stalled the implementation of the NextGen aviation system. When fully implemented, NextGen will allow for a more dynamic aviation system by allowing for quicker and more fuel efficient routes for aircraft and a more flexible aviation system. Each delay places our domestic aviation industry at risk of falling behind their international competitors. The passage of a multi-year FAA authorization bill ensures that NextGen will move forward and allow the United States to remain ahead of the world in implementing this system.

I am confident that the FAA extension we passed earlier this week is the last extension needed to complete this process. When the remaining issues are resolved, we will be able to provide the aviation industry stability and show to the American people that Congress can work together and accomplish something.

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