Friday, December 8, 2006
Re: Congress Set to Adjourn/DOT, Other Spending Bills Punted to Next Year
The end of the 109th Congress is in sight with lawmakers scrambling to conclude business for the year and get out of town. While there will undoubtedly be a rush of activity in the hours ahead, the most notable development for airports will be what this Congress fails to do before adjourning – completing action on the fiscal year 2007 Department of Transportation funding bill, along with eight other annual spending measures. When all is said and done, only two of the 11 annual bills funding the federal government – the Department of Defense spending bill and the Department of Homeland Security spending bill – will have been enacted into law even though the fiscal year began in October. The remainder of the federal government will be operating under the terms of a continuing resolution that provides temporary funding though February 15.
Although it is difficult to predict exactly how the new
Congress that convenes in January will tackle the pending funding bills, it is
reasonable to expect that they will start the process where the previous
Congress left off. On the DOT
spending bill, the House approved its version of the measure in June with $3.7
While we appear to be in good shape on a number of
airport priorities for FY 2007, there is no doubt that we will need to be active
early in the year in pressing Congress to fully fund key programs like
In addition to tackling DOT and FAA spending early in the year, the
incoming leaders of the House and Senate have announced plans to quickly
implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. In light of that fact, AAAE President
While it is clear from our discussions with folks on the Hill that there
is an interest in doing more to expedite the installation of
· I am calling/writing to ask that Representative/Senator ____ work to increase funding for the in-line installation of explosive detection equipment in airports as part of legislation Congress will soon consider to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
urge Representative/Senator ____ to support increasing from $250 million to $650
million the amount of revenue from the $2.50 passenger security fee that is
required to be devoted to in-line
Commission recommended expediting the deployment of in-line
· Now is the time for Congress to follow the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation and provide additional resources for these critical projects that will quickly improve security and save billions in scarce federal funds.
A Final Thought…
Next year promises to be incredibly busy and challenging with unfinished appropriations bills for fiscal year 2007, new funding bills for 2008, security-related legislation, and an FAA reauthorization bill to consider, among other things. Enjoy the brief respite, and get ready to go. Happy Holidays!