House Sends 5-Year FAA Reauthorization & Disaster Program Reforms to the Senate for Final Vote
With a resounding vote of approval today (398 to 23), the House of Representatives sent to the Senate H.R. 302, a measure that includes a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as a package of federal disaster program reforms that will save lives and reduce the growing cost impacts of disasters of all types.
H.R. 302 includes the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which authorizes the FAA programs and airport infrastructure investments for the next five years, promotes safety and American leadership in aviation and the aerospace industry, and improves the flying experience for passengers (more info).
H.R. 302 also includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which will help communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters. DRRA increases focus on pre-disaster mitigation – actions taken before disaster strikes that will lessen future impacts, reduce disaster costs, help speed recovery, and prevent loss of life (more info).
If the Senate approves the legislation and sends it to the president’s desk, it will mark the largest package of FEMA reforms since the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, and the first time since 1982 that the FAA will have received a full five-year reauthorization.
“I am proud of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s bipartisan work on this legislation,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “Not only does it provide FAA programs with stability and certainty for the next five years, its numerous reforms will allow America’s aviation industry to continue to safely innovate, thrive, and lead. The disaster program reforms in this bill will have significant benefits across the country, saving lives, saving property, and saving taxpayers’ money by making our communities more resilient to the costly impacts of disasters of all types. I want to thank Subcommittee Chairmen LoBiondo and Barletta, Ranking Members DeFazio, Larsen, and Titus, our committee colleagues, and the other House and Senate committees who collaborated with us to reach agreement on the final bill. I look forward to Senate passage and its enactment into law.”
“This important legislation provides the FAA with the long-term funding it needs to carry out its safety mission and guarantees that the United States will continue to lead the world in all things aviation,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “This legislation also includes critical provisions, many of which I have called on Congress to enact for years, that will improve aviation safety and the air travel experience for more than 900 million passengers who fly in the United States each year. I am also pleased that this legislation includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which will help communities struggling to recover from disasters and will ensure we are building more resilient communities that can withstand major disasters in the future. I look forward to seeing this bicameral, bipartisan package signed into law.”
“Today’s passage of a five-year FAA reauthorization demonstrates that good, bipartisan legislation can still advance in Congress despite these polarizing times. This bill ensures long-term stability at the FAA, allowing critical research programs, including those at South Jersey’s FAA Technical Center, to continue without interruption,” said Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ). “This FAA reauthorization also represents bipartisan compromise to advance the Nation’s aviation interests and safety in the skies. I applaud Chairman Shuster as well as Ranking Members DeFazio and Larsen for working cooperatively on a product we can all be proud to support to help ensure America maintains a safe, strong, and competitive aviation system.”
“Chairman Shuster, Chairman LoBiondo, Ranking Member DeFazio and I have worked on long-term FAA reauthorization for nearly five years now,” said Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA). “I am pleased we have come to a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to raise the bar on aviation safety, improve the experience for the traveling public, better prepare and diversify the aviation workforce, increase the global competitiveness of U.S. aerospace manufacturers and pave the way for advanced drone operations in U.S. airspace.”
“Today, the House is voting for the third time to give communities across the country the tools they need to save lives and taxpayer dollars,” said Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA). “Last year, more than 26 million Americans were affected by a disaster, and right now, the Carolinas are dealing with the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act will help our country build back from these catastrophic events smarter and stronger, while also ensuring we are fully prepared when the next disaster strikes. I thank Chairman Shuster for his tireless support of this important legislation, and hope the Senate will act quickly to send it to the president’s desk.”
“Hurricane Florence’s impacts on the Carolinas and the ongoing battles against wildfires in the West are just the latest examples of the growing risks our communities face from natural disasters,” said Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Ranking Member Dina Titus (D-NV). “The passage of DRRA brings about some critical reforms to assist communities become more resilient and better prepared to deal with the impacts of global climate change. I am particularly happy to see some reforms that will help persons with disabilities rebuild accessibility-related infrastructure, such as ramps, which can be quite costly. As we know, animals and pets are also at risk in these disasters. So I am pleased to see provisions included in this bill authorizing national veterinary emergency teams to deploy with urban search and rescue canine units and to aid communities and rescued animals.”