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Vote to End FAA Funding Debate Fails to Pass in Senate

May 6, 2008 — Partisan politics are being blamed for a failure to close off debate in the Senate today on FAA reauthorization legislation (HR 2881). Senators voted 49-42 in favor of the motion to invoke cloture, but a three-fifths majority is required, which means the long-awaited legislation remains stalled forcing the FAA to continue operating on a continuing resolution that will expire on June 30, 2008.

Republicans are refusing to support the Democrats' substitute amendment that embodies the Senate version of the legislation. Democrats, meanwhile, have used a procedural maneuver to make it impossible for Republicans to offer amendments to the legislation.

General aviation had hoped for cloture since it appeared user fees had been taken off the table in recent weeks as a result of Senate committee negotiations.

"We're deeply disappointed but will continue to push for procedural opportunities to move the bill forward through the senate," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. "This could mean extended and protracted continuing resolutions, leaving unresolved the questions of user fees and how the FAA will be funded and air traffic control modernization programs. This also continues to jeopardize airport improvement funds and other programs vital for general aviation and the entire aviation industry."

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