Transportation

Senate strikes deal on energy tax breaks in FAA bill

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Lawmakers have reached a deal on a package of renewable energy tax breaks that Democrats had pushed to include in a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, clearing one of the bill’s major hurdles to passage.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, announced during a Wednesday hearing that leaders struck an agreement on including the tax provisions in the FAA legislation.

{mosads}”Looks like we’re going to be able to proceed without that controversy,” he said.

Democrats maintain that tax breaks supporting investments in fuel cells, geothermal and biomass were unintentionally left out of a tax extenders package Congress passed last year. They say there was an agreement among Senate leaders that the provision would be added to the FAA reauthorization bill.

A Democratic Senate aide wasn’t able to provide details, but indicated that the tax provisions will be incorporated into the final bill.

Many Republicans had been wary of attaching the provisions to the FAA legislation, but acknowledged it was likely necessary to gain enough support for passage.

Dozens of conservative groups have come out in strong opposition to the plan.

The Senate will vote whether to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the vehicle for the FAA bill Wednesday morning.

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