House passes one-week extension for federal aviation programs

The House voted on Wednesday to pass a one-week extension for federal aviation programs, a stopgap move intended to head off a looming end-of-week deadline.

Congress is up against a Friday deadline of May 10 to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration authorities. This will move that deadline to next Friday, May 17.

The Senate will next need to pass the extension now that it has passed the House.

The move to pass a one-week patch comes as the Senate is working its way toward passage of a five-year FAA reauthorization bill. It had become unclear, however, if that bill could pass both chambers by Friday’s deadline as senators push for a variety of amendments.

The broader FAA reauthorization bill is expected to ultimately pass with widespread bipartisan support. But as debate continues over some of its provisions, any one senator could delay passage of the extension beyond the Friday night deadline as quick passage of legislation requires unanimous consent.

Lawmakers announced a bipartisan agreement had been reached for the broader FAA reauthorization bill at the end of last month, but the legislation has touched off wide-ranging debate.

One flashpoint has centered around flights at the DC-area Reagan National Airport – with a group of Washington area Senate Democrats who oppose adding more longer-distance flights in and out pressing for an amendment vote to strip it out of the package currently being debated.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday ahead of the House move to pass the extension that the Senate is “working really hard” to finish the broader FAA reauthorization.

“We’re working really hard to get in and finish,” Schumer said during his weekly press conference, though the chamber has been at an impasse over which amendment votes to include.

Republican Whip John Thune welcomed the House move to pass a one-week FAA reauthorization, but cautioned that there still has yet to be an agreement on how to move ahead quickly on the reauthorization in the United States Senate.

“It just gives us a little breathing room,” Thune said. “I think the goal is to try to drive through and get a result out of the Senate yet this week, but at least now if necessary, it can be punted.”

The Biden administration said Wednesday that it “supports enactment” of the broader FAA reauthorization bill.

“Reauthorizing the FAA is critical to enhancing aviation safety, improving the efficiency of the aviation system, strengthening passenger rights, and collaborating with international partners,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement Wednesday evening.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Lauren Fox, Gregory Wallace and Samantha Waldenberg contributed to this report.

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