FAA Reauthorization Vote in Senate Could Come Soon
Committees compromise, take user fees off the table
April 28, 2008 — As EAA reported late last week, the Senate appears ready to take action on S. 1300, its version of the FAA reauthorization bill. A vote was scheduled today (April 28) that would end debate on the bill and pave the way for a final floor vote. Congressional Quarterly confirms that a compromise had been reached between the Senate Finance and Commerce committees resulting in elimination of the $25 user fee for IFR flights that had caused wide opposition in the general aviation community. The compromise, once finalized, would increase the excise tax on GA jet fuel from 21.8 cents per gallon to 36 cents, with no increase in the Avgas (100LL) tax.
Today's vote scheduled for 5:30 p.m. might be delayed, however, ironically due to adverse weather on the East Coast that is disrupting some Senators' return flight plans to Washington, D.C.
Doug Macnair, EAA's Washington-based vice president of government relations, reports that this compromise bill is an indication of the significant progress made in our fight against user fees for general aviation. "There are several more hurdles to be dealt with before we can relax but this is a major breakthrough," he said.
"EAA and the other general aviation organizations have devoted considerable resources to mobilize our respective memberships to fight user fees, and from the looks of things, those efforts are paying off," he added. "For many months, EAAers have contacted their elected officials and let them know that user fees would adversely affect all of aviation in the United States. At the same time, EAA has worked diligently behind the scenes to reinforce those grassroots efforts.
"We're very grateful to the members for coming through on this issue, and we're cautiously optimistic of the outcome."
EAA will keep members informed of the developments in the Senate and will let members know if they need to act. Please stay tuned to www.EAA.org for further developments.