Senate passes short-term FAA bill

The Senate on Thursday passed a four-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration programs and related taxes.

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The bill, which passed by unanimous consent, is an amended version of legislation the House passed on Monday. The measure now heads back to the House, which will need to act by the end of the month to prevent FAA authority from lapsing.

The difference between the House and Senate versions is the length of the extension for the aviation taxes. The Senate would extend the taxes through July 15, but the House would extend them through March 31, 2017. Both versions would extend authorization for FAA programs through July 15.

At the same time, the House and Senate are working on longer-term measures. Those bills have advanced in House and Senate committees but also contain conflicting language.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would reauthorize FAA programs through September 2017, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced a measure in February that would extend programs through 2022.