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National Office Week in Review: April 5, 2017

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULE Congress is in session during the week of April 3 and will then recess for two weeks for a constituent work period. As a reminder, Congress has a jam - packed schedule this year and it will be full of legislative activity. APRIL 28 SHUTDOWN DEADLINE Lawmakers are once again pushing votes on a spending bill to the last few days before the current spen ding bill expires on April 28. The Senate is sched uled to consider the Supreme Court nomination this week before heading out of town for two weeks. When members return, most likely the evening of April 24, Congress will only have four legislative days to pass a spending bill. Whether that means an omnibus , "cromnibus," or another continuing resolution (more on those options below) remains unclear. As a reminder, the government is operating on a continuing resolution (CR; P.L. 114 - 254) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 that is set to expire on April 28. Shutdown Threats: President Trump's request for an extra $33 billion for defense and border security this year could make a government shutdown more likely. The additional funding for fiscal 2017 would require revising spending caps agreed to in the 2015 bipartisan budget deal (P.L. 114 - 74). President Trump's request would raise defense spending this year from $551 billion to $576 billion, and lower non - defense discretionary spending from $519 billion to $504 billion. The need to readjust spending caps would complic ate any spending legislation, since Democrats would likely oppose any increase in defense spending without an equivalent increase for non - defense spending. Republicans lack enough votes for any budget deal in the Senate without cooperation from Democrats. Omnibus, Cromnibus, or CR?: Some type of spending bill will be needed to avoid a government shutdown on April 28. Failure to pass an omnibus package could result in another stop - gap funding bill, also known as a CR, which would simply extend current fund ing levels. This would leave agencies largely unable to fund any new initiatives or shift funding priorities from those established more than a year ago. Or, the spending bill could be a combination of the two, known as a "cromnibus," which would extend cu rrent spending levels for some agencies while passing new legislation for others. There is also talk of Congress passing a short - term CR for a duration of one or two weeks, to give lawmakers more time to avoid a government shutdown and pass a comprehensive spending bill. The House favors this approach, but the Senate continues to move on passage prior to the April 28 deadline. Stay tuned for updates. NATCA Impact : Congress hasn't completed regular spending bills on time since the mid - 1990s, relying often o n short - term funding patches that continue funding levels from the previous year without major changes. The lack of a stable and predictable funding stream leaves the FAA in financial limbo, and prevents government agencies such as the FAA from starting ne w projects or adjusting priorities. NATCA GA staff continues to meet with members of Congress and their staff to remind them of the importance of a stable, predictable funding stream, and the consequences of a government shutdown. NATCA GA staff has also b een meeting with House and Senate appropriations committee members and staff as they work towards the next the next funding bill. FAA REAUTHOR IZATION

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