- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Democrats say safety sacrificed in aviation bill pushed by House
Vast differences with Senate version
The Senate passed its own version of the bill in February. And since the two measures differ significantly, it’s uncertain what a final version would include, or even if a compromise is possible.
“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get this bill done,” the West Virginia Democrat said in a prepared statement after the House vote. “I am confident that we can work through all the differences between the House and Senate versions of this bill in the conference process.”
But major sticking points - such as a provision in the Republican-crafted House bill that would make it more difficult for rail and airline workers to unionize - won’t make those negotiations easy. And Senate Democrats may balk at some Federal Aviation Administration budget cuts pushed by House Republicans.
The long-delayed FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act passed the House mostly along party lines by a vote of 223 to 196. The $59.7 billion bill is a budget blueprint for FAA programs for the next three-and-a-half years.
A two-year, $34.5 billion version passed the Democratic-controlled Senate in February by an 87-8 vote.
“The federal government can do more with less, and this bill does so by requiring the FAA to identify savings in a manner that does not negatively impact aviation safety,” said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica, a Florida Republican.
But Democrats say the bill’s cost-cutting provisions come at a dangerous price: airline safety.
“When we are talking about investing in air traffic control modernization, or regulating safety, or hiring a sufficient number of safety inspectors, there is no such thing as ‘doing more with less,’” said Rep. Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the House transportation committee.
The House bill would require the FAA to tailor regulations to specific parts of the aviation industry rather than one-size-fits-all standards. It also would prohibit new safety regulations if the FAA couldn’t justify the costs.
Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who authored the safety provision, denied accusations he was singling out particular regulations. He added the rules only would apply to future FAA regulations.
“I want to improve the FAA rule-making process and I welcome suggestions to make further improvements to my amendment before it is signed into law,” he said.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans also bristled at a provision in the House bill that overturns a 2010 National Mediation Board (NMB) rule that allows rail and airline industry workers to form a union by a simple majority of those voting. Under the old rule, workers who didn’t vote were counted as “no” votes.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Increase in battlefield deaths linked to new rules of engagement in Afghanistan
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!