Senate to Act on Bipartisan, Consumer-Friendly Aviation Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act:

“We’ll soon begin consideration of bipartisan legislation that can support American jobs, improve airline safety, and help passengers — all without raising taxes or fees on travelers.

“The FAA Reauthorization Act before us is the result of a collaborative committee process. It shows what’s possible with a Senate that’s back to work and back to regular order. In this case, the Commerce Committee held a series of seven hearings to guide and inform its deliberations throughout this process.

“Republicans on the Commerce Committee had their say. Democrats on the Commerce Committee offered their input. And at the end of the day, members of both parties were able to agree on bipartisan legislation that passed committee on a voice vote.

“We know that the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act will promote American manufacturing, preserve rural access in states like Kentucky, and advance new consumer protections for the flying public.

“We also know that it will help improve safety and security, both in the skies and in our airports. Here are a few ways this bipartisan bill can help:

• By allowing us to better prepare for the outbreak of communicable diseases like Ebola.
• By improving the quality of FAA’s safety workforce.
• By encouraging the FAA to harmonize international safety standards.
• By bringing the government and stakeholders together in the development of safety standards for unmanned aerial vehicles.
• And by taking aim at human trafficking.

“This legislation is the product of a lot of hard work and reaching across the aisle.

“I’d like to recognize Senator Thune for leading this effort. He knows what’s possible in a Senate that’s back to work for the American people. He worked hard with the top Democrat on his committee, Senator Nelson, to get us to this point today.

“But these two Senators certainly didn’t do it alone. Senator Ayotte was one of the key players in this bipartisan effort. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation, Senator Ayotte held numerous briefings and hearings on the issue with her colleague, Senator Cantwell. While many in this Chamber are focusing on the issue now, the bill before us is the product of many months of work by the members of the Commerce Committee and their staff.

“Let’s continue working together in a similar spirit now. While the Commerce Committee has produced a product that merits this chamber’s consideration, I am sure they would acknowledge they don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. I hope we can have an efficient amendment process, where members bring their best ideas to the floor.

“Let’s pass another significant piece of legislation for the American people.”

Related Issues: Jobs, Restoring the Senate, FAA, Taxes, Back to Work