Congress has returned….and is about to leave

By Bill Deere, NATA Senior Vice President for Government and External Affairs

On Monday, Congress returned from its traditional August recess but will only stay in session for a short time before adjourning again to campaign in advance of the mid-term elections.  The House is expected to leave by September 19th with the Senate adjourning as early as the following week.  In such a brief time, not much is expected by way of legislative action but the first important step was put in place yesterday to avoid a government shut down when current funding expires on October 1st.

Yesterday, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), unveiled a draft continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government at current spending levels through December 11th. A CR is legislation designed to keep the government running on a temporary basis until the completion of the twelve regular appropriations bills.  The CR also contains other provisions including a proposal to extend the authorization of the Export-Import Bank until June 30, 2015.   For the FAA it means funding – for the moment at least – below the increased levels recommended for FY2015 by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.  The House will consider the CR the week of the 15th.

As a result, long-term government funding and final resolution of issues like tax extenders are likely on the back burner until a post-election “lame duck” session.  The duration and issues to be considered in the lame duck will turn on the results of the general election – particularly the battle for control of the Senate.

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