FAA furloughs front and center this week


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spent most of last week urging lawmakers to avoid a shutdown.

“Like the rest of us, they depend on their jobs to pay their mortgages, buy food and make car payments,” LaHood said. “That’s not how we should run the national aviation system.”

As the FAA fight drags on, lawmakers will confront another transportation agency budget Wednesday. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's reauthorization bill.

The committee will also take a look at aviation fuel alternatives Thursday.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on its bill to block the European Union from requiring airlines operating in its countries to trade emissions.

The bill would block the EU from requiring U.S. airlines to participate in its Emission Trading System, which is similar to cap-and-trade proposals that have become politically toxic in the United States.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) called the measure "one of the more bipartisan efforts you'll ever see in the House of Representatives," but environmentalists argue it would worsen air pollution.

On Tuesday, the committee will look at ways to improve efficiencies in the U.S. Coast Guard.