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Clock ticking on FAA bill once Congress resumes
August 19, 2011
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    17, 2011


    Matt Augustine

    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.