The clock is ticking for Congressional leaders to come up with a solution to
the FAA funding crisis, and if Florida Congressman and Chair of the House
Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure John Mica has anything to say
about it, there won’t be another temporary extension.
“We’ve done 21 extensions and taken four and a half years, so my goal
is to get some permanent policy, some prioritization of projects and funding in
order for our Federal Aviation Administration.”
Congress passed the most recent temporary extension on August 5th after
gridlock in Congress forced a partial FAA shutdown for several weeks. But
the money apportioned for the FAA in that extension runs out on September 16th.
Mica blames Democrats for Congress’ inability to pass a long term FAA bill
that would lay out new infrastructure for the FAA and would deal with things
like project funding, FAA workers’ rights, and whether to keep some rural
airports that don’t see much traffic.
“I’ve been willing to compromise with the Democrats for four and a half
years,” Mica jokes. “They couldn’t pass their own bill the last
seven months, though we do have most of the issues resolves.”
He says the questions remaining deal with funding levels, slots at Reagan
Airport, the National Mediation Board, and pork-laden subsidization of tickets.