FAA bill hits rough patch

Congress is back in Washington this week. High on its to-do list is passing an FAA bill before legal authority for the aviation agency expires in mid-July. The House bill includes a controversial provision that would privatize air-traffic control, but that bill is in a holding pattern and hasn’t been approved by the full house. The Senate is trying to pass its own bill. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said it’s good for passengers.

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Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader (Photo courtesy of U.S. Senate)
Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader (Photo courtesy of U.S. Senate)

“It includes a number of consumer-friendly provisions, like fee disclosures and refunds for lost bags, or services paid for but not received,” McConnell said.

McConnell says the Senate improved its bill last week with new security requirements.

“The amendment will help shore up security measures for international flights coming into the U.S., as well as improve vetting and inspections of airport employees,” said McConnell.

The Senate bill does not include privatizing air traffic
control, but it’s still attracting controversy. Democrats are trying to insert a package of unrelated tax credits for clean energy, such as geothermal, biomass and fuel cell projects.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Liz here.

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