With the clock ticking toward an end-of-month expiration date, the Senate’s Democratic leadership is still holding out hope that an FAA reauthorization bill can be completed this week.
A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., said the Senate “could still try” to complete the bill this week.
And a senior Senate Republican aide said negotiations are still ongoing.
“Everything that everyone’s telling me is they think they can wrap it up, possibly,” the GOP aide said. “People are still talking.”
But the House has already started preparing an extension – something even the most optimistic say may be necessary, especially since the House plans to leave for the August recess next week, a week ahead of the Senate.
A spokesman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, confirmed that the panel is preparing an FAA extension. He could not give any further details, such as how long the extension might run.
The current extension under which the FAA is operating will expire Aug. 1.
There are a handful of contentious items that remain unresolved, including how much to expand long-distance flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and how much to raise the cap that airports can charge on per-flight landing fees.
As jockeying on these provisions continued last week, Sen. Byron L. Dorgan , D-N.D., chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation aviation subcommittee, said it had been “one of the most frustrating weeks.”
“This is a twisted strand of rope trying to get this done,” Dorgan said. “It’s unbelievable. Everybody has interests that lead them to dig in their heels.”
Source: CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY