U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he expects Congress to give final approval to a long-term authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has been on a temporary footing since 2007.
LaHood said he also is optimistic for agreement on a transportation funding bill to be approved in the coming weeks.
“The FAA is done, that’s a done deal, they’re going to vote on it,” LaHood said while attending the opening of a car exhibit in Dearborn, Michigan. “There is an agreement, it will be a multi-year bill and we’re very happy about it.”
A bill to extend FAA programs through Feb. 17 -- the 23rd extension since 2007 -- was approved Jan. 26 by the Senate on a voice vote. The House passed an identical extension earlier this week.
LaHood said the Senate soon will take up a transportation funding bill which has been stymied by disagreements between the House and Senate. He said Senators Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, and James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, have put together a two-year bill that the Senate will soon debate. He said a transportation bill will be introduced in the House next week.
“The president talked about a six-year transportation bill, paid for, in the State of the Union,” LaHood said. “There are a lot of moving parts here, things are moving.”
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