By Bill Deere, NATA Senior Vice President for Government and External Affairs
The lame duck session of congress is expected to adjourn this week after addressing several must-pass items of interest to aviation.
Late today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to unveil a “cromnibus,” legislation to fund the government for the rest of the year. The legislation will combine a short-term funding extension for the Department of Homeland Security and funding for the balance of the fiscal year for other government operations including the FAA. Any major funding increases are expected to fall on the international side, addressing the Ebola outbreak, operations in Syria and Iraq, and assistance to Ukraine and the Baltic states. The House is expected to consider the legislation Wednesday, leaving the Senate one day to consider the legislation in advance of the expiration of the government’s current funding bill.
Also this week, the Senate is expected to consider a one year extension of approximately 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, including bonus depreciation and section 179 expensing. Last week, the House passed a one year extension after House-Senate negotiations over longer-term extensions for certain provisions including bonus depreciation and section 179 expensing stalled in the face of a possible presidential veto threat. Late last week, the office of Senate Majority Leader Reid reached out to leading members of the coalition in support of bonus depreciation, including NATA, to refute a news story that suggested the Senate might not have time to pass the House tax extenders bill before adjourning.
Finally, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell must still agree on a final package of nominations for floor action before adjournment. Among those nominees awaiting floor action is Christopher Hart to serve as Chairman of the NTSB. Hart’s nomination cleared the Senate Commerce Committee in July but has yet to be acted on.
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