NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Week in Review: Sept. 30, 2015

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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FAA LONG - TERM REAUTHORIZATION : The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee continued their work on FAA Reauthorization during Augus t recess, but the committee's attention shifted to the Highway bill (due on October 30) and an extension of the FAA Authorization (due on September 30). The proposed FAA extension included in the Senate CR extends FAA authority through March 31, 2016. The goal is to allow time for a reauthorization bill to pass both chambers and be conferenced before heading to the President. At this time, the House T&I Committee has pushed off introducing their version of an FAA Reauthorization bill until October or early November. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and EVP Trish Gilbert, along with the government affairs staff, continue to work closely with the House and Senate committee staffs to discuss NATCA's priorities for the upcoming extension. We will provide additional updates on this matter each week. SPEAKER BOEHNER WILL RESIGN : Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on Friday, September 25th that he will resign from Congress at the end of October, giving up his Speakership as well. Speaker Boehner originally pl anned to retire at the end of 2014, but decided to continue his tenure after then - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R - VA) lost his primary seat. It is unknown who will take over as Speaker, but next in line is Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R - Calif.), wh o is seen as one strong possibility. Anti - Official Time Bill: Last week Rep. Holding (R - NC) introduced a bill to limit official time for federal employees at the IRS. This is part of an on - going attack on official time. In April, Rep. Hice (R - GA) proposed an amendment to the Military Construction/VA Appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) that would have eliminated official time for federal employees serving at the Department of Veterans Affairs. NATCA GA successfully worked to defeat the amendment when it came up for a vote. Forty - nine (49) Republicans joined all Democrats in defeating the amendment and it was ultimately rejected by a vote of 190 - 232. At the end of the day, we believe in official time. If this were to be approved for the Department of Veterans Af fairs, or the IRS, it would be a slippery slope to include other departments in agencies, such as the FAA. In addition to the recently introduced bill (H.R. 3600), NATCA GA is also closely following H.R. 1658, introduced by Rep. Hice. This bill would limit the circumstances in which official time may be used by a Federal employee. COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT STAYIN G UP TO DATE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDING AND FAA REAUTHORIZATION ISSUES : The latest government funding and FAA authorization extension de velopments as of this writing (Sept. 29/30) are detailed above in the Government Affairs update. Regardless of the news of this week and avoiding a government shutdown or FAA authorization lapse, we know these important issues will return to the discussion in just 10 short weeks. The Communications Department will continue to engage in media activity on these topics and inform our members of important news and updates through a variety of ways, as we did all last week in the buildup to a possible shutdown . Here are ways you can keep up with news and information:

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