By Keith Laing - 07/15/11 07:30 PM EDT
Both chambers have already passed versions of the bill, but the competing measures are far apart. The Senate measure provided $34.5 billion over two years, while the House provided $59 billion over four years. Additionally, the House measure includes provisions that would make it harder for airline and railroad employees to unionize, drawing a veto threat from Obama.
Mica said Friday that “House and Senate negotiations on the FAA bill have resulted in significant progress over the last several months."
But he quickly added that it is time for the Senate to put the safety of the traveling public above its own political posturing and paybacks to the labor movement.
"Clearly, some in the Senate have made a political decision to put special-interest labor provisions above the safety of our nation’s aviation system,” he said.
The current 20th stopgap FAA bill is set to expire July 22. The new version would include changes to the Essential Air Service that are included in the Senate version of the long-term FAA bill. It would place a limit of 90 miles from a large or medium airport on EAS eligibility.