On Monday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to hold a cloture vote on a four-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill to help modernize the nation's air traffic control system. A cloture vote sets a deadline for committee Democrats to finalize the legislation. Reid will hold a vote to limit debate on a motion to proceed to the FAA reauthorization bill, which has been stalled by a dispute between the Senate Committee on Finance (Finance Committee) and Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Commerce Committee) over providing consistent funding to finance the new satellite-based air traffic control system.
Senate Commerce and Finance Committees expect to reach an agreement this week. A Commerce Committee plan would impose a $25 per flight surcharge or user fee that would provide more funding toward modernizing the air traffic control system. The Finance Committee has proposed relying on aviation taxes.
Senate Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) said he is open to finding another way to earn $400 million in guaranteed annual funding that he estimates could come from a user fee. Rockefeller has pledged that general aviation will pay more either in taxes or a user fee.
Members are strongly encouraged to contact your U.S. Senators immediately to oppose new user fees!!!