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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