CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, May 23, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1893, a bill to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and to extend the airport improvement program, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. H.R. 1893 was introduced by Rep. John Mica (R-FL) on May 13, 2011, and was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Ways and Means. Neither Committee took any official action.
H.R. 1893 would extend for one month—through June 30, 2011—the authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which are currently set to expire May 31, 2011.
The bill would extend the authority to expend funds from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund through July 1, 2011. The bill would extend the taxes on aviation fuel, domestic and international tickets, and cargo shipped by air. Currently, these taxes are set to expire May 31, 2011.
The bill would authorize to be appropriated $2.63 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) for the nine month period beginning on October 1, 2010, and ending July 1, 2011. On an annualized basis, the bill would authorize $3.7 billion in AIP contract authority for FY 2011.
The last long-term authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), known as the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, was passed in 2003 and expired at the end of FY 2007. Since that time, the FAA has operated under a series of temporary extensions. In the 110th and 111th Congresses, the House passed several short-term FAA extensions which were signed into law. The most recent extension, H.R. 1079in the 112th Congress (PL 112-7), was passed by the House of Representatives on March 29, 2011, by voice vote. In addition, the House has approved H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, which would reauthorize FAA operations, contract authority and taxing ability through FY 2014. The long-term FAA reauthorization was approved in the House on April 1, 2011, by a vote of 223 – 196. The Senate amended the language of H.R. 658 and replaced the text of the bill with a Senate substitute. This short-term extension would allow the FAA to continue operations while the two bills are reconciled.
The FAA is an agency within the Department of Transportation that oversees and regulates the nation’s aviation system. The Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), created by the Airport and Airway Revenue Act of 1970, provides funding for the nation’s aviation system through several aviation excise taxes. Funding currently comes from collections related to passenger tickets, air cargo excise taxes, passenger flight segments, and aviation fuels, among other sources.
A CBO estimate for H.R. 1893 was not available as of press time.