The FAA will continue operating uninterrupted after Congress passed a short-term government-funding bill yesterday, averting a U.S. government shutdown and disruptions to aviation activities. Just hours before the current government funding was set to expire, the House and Senate approved a bill to extend funding through December 11. The continuing resolution would maintain funding essentially at the same level as Fiscal Year 2015 and sets the stage for another potential showdown in about two months.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each have cleared all 12 separate agency appropriations bills, including fiscal 2016 Department of Transportation (and FAA) funding, but House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) stressed that Congress must reach a budget deal to move forward on full-year appropriations.
“Although there are reports that congressional leaders have discussed with President Obama negotiating a two-year budget deal, it is possible that in early December we will once again find ourselves at a budget precipice,” the National Air Transportation Association warned. “We will continue to educate lawmakers as to the ramifications of a shutdown to general aviation and urge them to reach a long-term solution.”
Reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank could also get folded into the budget talks. The continuing resolution does continue to fund the bank, but appropriators have made clear that without reauthorization “funds may not be made available for new loans and other financing.”