The Senate this evening passed its version of the FAA reauthorization bill, and attention now shifts to compromise negotiations with House lawmakers.
Senators voted 93-0 in favor of passing the FAA bill. While this was an important milestone, the House conference process could be lengthy and contentious. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), ranking member on the Commerce Committee, noted that the “differences are pretty big” between the House and Senate bills. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but I think we can do it.”
I also think they will get there, but it could take several weeks. There are too many things in the House bill that Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) won’t budge on, and will be unpalatable to Senate aviation leaders.