Congress Extends FAA Funding One Month

Political fight leads to 18th temporary extension since 2007.

An 11th-hour political fight over proposed FAA cuts and changes to union rules has derailed passage of a long-term agency funding bill, leading to yet another short-term extension -- the 18th since 2007. House democrats are seeking to remove provisions that would cut $4 billion from the FAA's budget and overturn a 2010 National Mediation Board decision making it easier for aviation and rail workers to form unions.

The White House has said President Obama would veto the bill if presented in its current form, meaning several more weeks or months of political wrangling could be needed to work out compromises. The House on Monday passed a measure extending FAA funding temporarily until June 30, giving more time to reconcile House and Senate versions of the legislation.

The bill includes aviation fuel tax hikes to help pay for the FAA’s NextGen air traffic control system and shore up Airport and Airway Trust Fund but avoids new user fees.

The FAA has been operating on temporary extensions of authority and financing since 2007. Although both the Senate and House have passed reauthorization bills each year, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on a variety of issues, leading to the temporary funding extensions.