CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. ___ is being considered on the floor on September 23, 2009, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Oberstar (D-MN) on September 22, 2009, and referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which took no official action.
H.R. ___ extends certain authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for three months, through December 31, 2009. 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 at the end of September 30, 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. ___ authorizes the appropriation of funds for the Airport Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2010, and extends its program grant authority through December 31, 2009. 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.
In the 110th Congress, the House passed several short-term FAA extensions authorities which were signed into law. The most recent extension was H.R. 1512 (P.L. 111-12), was passed in the 111th House by voice vote on March 18, 2009, and is set to expire on September 30, 2009.
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. S. 1451 has not yet been considered in the Senate.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for this bill.