CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5147 on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 5147 was introduced on April 27, 2010, by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) and referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Ways and Means Committee, neither of which took any official action.
FAA Extension: H.R. 5147 extends certain authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approximately two months, from April 30, 2010, through July 4, 2010. The bill would extend the FAA's authority to spend money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), their authority to charge taxes, and their appropriated spending levels. Under current law, these authorities would expire on March 31, 2009.
The bill extends certain aviation-related taxes that are used to finance the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including ticket taxes. Specifically, the bill would extend the domestic passenger ticket tax at its current level of 7.5 percent of ticket price, the domestic flight segment tax at its current level of $3.40 per passenger, and the domestic cargo tax at 6.25 percent of the cost of transporting property.
H.R. 5147 authorizes the appropriation of funds for the Airport Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2010, and extends its program grant authority through July 4, 2010. Funding for the program would be calculated on an annualized basis as if the total amount for FY 2010 was $4 billion, and then reduced by 11 percent. Additionally, the bill authorizes funding for operations, as well as the Air Navigation Facilities and Equipment. Finally, the bill authorizes funding for FAA research, engineering, and development.
FAA Background: 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. 4957 (P.L. 111-153), was passed in the House on March 25, 2010, by voice vote.
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. The current funding mechanisms for the FAA were set forth by the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, which became law in 2003. Vision 100 expired at the end of FY 2007, and the FAA has since been funded by a series of temporary authorizations. Both the House (H.R. 915) and the Senate (S. 1451) have introduced a long-term FAA extension. H.R. 915 passed the House on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 277-136. The Senate has yet to act on either S. 1451 or the House passed extension. On March 25, 2010, the House passed H.R. 4957, a Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act, which extends authorization through April 30, 2010, by unanimous consent.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for this bill as of press time.