The FAA has not had a long-term authorization bill since the last measure, passed in 2004, expired in 2007.
Late last week, staffers for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said that the two sides were at least talking, as were officials in the Obama administration. But with Washington consumed with the looming deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling Tuesday, little was said about any progress being made.
One thing to watch for this week, however, is if airlines respond to criticisms from Commerce Committee Chairman Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers Lobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.) and others about keeping taxes that would have been paid into the Aviation Trust Fund if the FAA bill had been approved.
Rockefeller wrote a letter to 12 airlines calling on them to detail their profits since the FAA shutdown began to prove they were not padding extra profits during the impasse.
Rockefeller's office has said they could legally force the airlines to return any extra money they've collected, but for now, they're hoping the airlines will issue refunds to customers in good faith. That could change if the FAA shutdown drags on into late in the week.
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