Senate approves transportation extension: FAA and Highway Extensions Act

The United States Senate on Sept. 15 passed legislation to extend funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for four and six months, respectively. The measure passed with a 92-6 vote.

H.R. 2887, the FAA and Highway Extensions Act, was introduced by the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) and was passed in the House earlier in the week before the Senate passed the legislation.

The measure extends surface transportation programs at level funding and the authority to collect the gas user fee for six months, through March 31, 2012, as well as the FAA program and authority to collect aviation user fees for four and a half months, through Jan. 31, 2012, according to a report from the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA).

NSSGA also reports that the current FAA authority expires Sept. 16, while the HTF authority and other surface transportation law expires Sept. 30. The bill now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature.

“It is a positive step for the country that the Congress has passed this historic combination of extensions, which is important for job creation and our nation’s infrastructure,” Mica said in a written statement.  “With the FAA bill delayed four and half years and a two year delay on the highway measure, Congress must now act responsibly to enact long-term reauthorizations that will put Americans back to work and build our nation’s infrastructure.

“I challenge House and Senate leaders to continue to work toward long overdue solutions that address our transportation needs,” Mica continued. “The 22nd FAA extension and 8th highway bill extension must be the last.”