NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Departmental Update, Aug. 12, 2018

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULE: The House is in recess for the month of August, while the Senate will stay in session most of the month to consider appropriations, judicial nominations, and the defense authorization bill. FAA REAUTHORIZATION UPDATE: The Senate FAA bill has been on hold since being approved by its relevant committee (the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee) last year. While the Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Leadership have indicated that the bill may be considered at any point over the past few months, it appears that there has been little progress made on a path forward due to a wide range of disagreements between the Majority and Minority party. That being said, as of now, it is growing increasingly unlikely that the Senate will consider the bill in August. If the Senate is unable to reach consensus on a path forward and it delays consideration until September, the chances for another FAA extension increase, as the Senate's legislative calendar will become even more packed as they ramp up for the mid-term elections. As a reminder, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "started the clock" on an FAA bill, but floor time has been a challenge. Likewise, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as other Senators, could potentially hold up the bill because it is the only legislation moving forward with a tax title and he and other lawmakers may seek to add non-FAA-related tax measures to the bill such as legislation surrounding autonomous vehicles and trucking. Finally, Senate Republican leadership is spending a significant amount of time and energy working to generate support and confirm President Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to the U.S. Supreme Court. This process is complicating the Senate calendar, and creating another obstacle for consideration of the FAA bill. • Background: The current FAA reauthorization extension expires on September 30. If a long-term bill is not signed into law before then, another extension will be necessary in order to avoid a partial FAA shutdown. The House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, in April by a vote of 393-13. The five-year, bipartisan bill authorizes $71 billion for the operations, F&E, and RED accounts at the FAA from Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 through FY 2023. During this year's NIW, participants asked their Senators to urge Senate leadership to complete action on a long-term FAA reauthorization bill. • NATCA Impact: NATCA supports H.R. 4, as passed in the House, and has been meeting with staff on the Senate side to urge quick passage of a long-term reauthorization for the FAA. NATCA continues to highlight the need for a stable, predictable funding stream that adequately supports the following: air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects. GUIDANCE ON EXECUTIVE ORDERS AFFECTING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: As you know, the President issued three Executive Orders (EOs) that affect federal employees and their unions. The orders would reduce the use of union official time government- wide, reduce the time it takes to negotiate collective bargaining agreements (CBAs),

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