American Sauce: What's in this bill?
February 2nd, 2011
12:44 PM ET
9 years ago

American Sauce: What's in this bill?

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Capitol Hill (CNN) - Democrats call it a "jobs bill."  Republicans are using it to restage the health care debate. We here at American Sauce feel that, perhaps, we should talk about what's actually in the FAA authorization and modernization bill on the floor of the Senate this week.

FAA Authorization and Modernization 101

READ the bill here. Or get our highlights below.
Bill number: S. 223.
Length: 335 pages.

Why Care?

- The Federal Aviation Administration has lived hand-to-mouth since 2007, working off a series of 17 temporary extensions cobbled together by Congress.  The latest authorization ends March 31.

- The bill could rewrite how air traffic control works. It pulls the trigger on the FAA's NextGen program which aims to use more satellite and computer integration and rely less on human air traffic controllers.  Here's the FAA's NextGen website.

- This the first major spending legislation of the new Congress, setting maximum spending levels for the Federal Aviation Administration (a separate appropriations bill would allocate the money).  It opens up tens of billions in possible spending.

So, What's in it?

Here's what American Sauce saw when we read the bill. Things that the pack might miss:

- New Nevada Airport:  The bill paves the way for construction of a new airport in the southern part of Majority Leader Harry Reid's home state.  S. 223 conveys federal land over to Clark County, Nevada (pending FAA approval of airport plans), setting up what the state argues would be a relief airport to Las Vegas' McCarran International.

- Earmarks: At the tail end of this legislation sit provisions reclaiming money from unused DOT earmarks of the past.  The bill also requires the Office of Management and Budget to look for unused earmark money every year and report the funds by agency and earmark. Not earthshaking, perhaps, but a significant change in how the feds look at/look for money.

- Studies, Reports and Report on Reports: The bill mandates that the FAA must complete a report, every two years, on the number of unnecessary or antiquated reports it must file.  Which has a certain irony because this bill also requires the FAA create 14 new reports, 13 studies, one review, one committee, one task force, one oversight board and one new working group

Filed under: American Sauce
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Nadeem

    It i time to fix some of these challenges, and not simply punting it to the next generation.

    February 2, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Tea Party reminds me of the paid thugs that are stirring up trouble in Egypt now. The tea baggers are paid by Dick Army, the Koch Brothers, Cheney's group, and other scabs. Remember how the town halls got interrupted? But ONLY the democrats. Maybe now thugs will be a bad word for tea-baggers and Palin-worshipers.

    February 2, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Voice of Reason

    Still dont see healthcare here... Why would the GOP add a 'repeal healthcare' provision to a bill like this? Well – if they add that, then all the democrats will vote NO on it. And then, come election time, they can all point their fingers and say, "Senator so-and-so voted against jobs!! And voted to keep the outdated FAA technology in place instead of replacing it", then go on to recount the fiery horrors of whatever plane crash was in te news most recently.

    C'mon Republicans! Man up and stop trying to play games. Either you are for sensible government that focuses on 'We the people' or you arent. Choose one only.

    February 2, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Ferret out the B.S.

    The FAA hs needed upgraded equipment and improvement for a long time, if the funds are not allocated now it will, more than likely cost more later. But can we afford it now? Will we be able to afford it later? Instead of trying to fund the whole thing at once can it be funded incrementally over the next several years to ease the burden.

    February 2, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. ant.not.grasshopper

    Also Carolyn McCarthy's magazine ban legislation is trying to be snuck through as an amendment, since it can't stand on its own. Tell your Senate-critters to remove that amendment and keep the FAA bill focused on aviation-related content only!

    February 2, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Starting to make more sense why the GOP is willing to kill the bill in the name of proposing nonsense amendments that wil force the Dems to vote NO.

    New Nevada Airport? Heck no...NV needs to be punished for giving Reid his job back and they need to be kept from gaining anything that will help their economy...only continued suffering for the next 2 years will increase anger with Reid and the Dems.

    Fiscally responsible curtailing of earmarks and recapture of unspent earmark money? Heck no...why would the GOP ever vote for anything the Dems could point at and say "we're fiscally responsible, so stop trying to claim you've cornered that market"?

    Studies and reports? Who needs information, expert opinions, data, facts and evidence upon which to make decisions when you can simply rely on your ideology in a vaccuum and get people to follow along by repeating it ad nauseum via the media echo chamber?

    BTW, where's the story about Toomey's batsh-t crazy amendment he proposed to this bill that would prioritize paying back China and other US debtors BEFORE PAYING SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS THEIR BENEFITS if the GOP plays the game of refusing to raise the debt ceiling? Hmmmm? Avoiding that one for some reason?

    February 2, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Realistic

    So to save money and get rid of reports that are not needed anymore or antiquated, the gov't wants an oversight board, one review group and so on...Ok thats the ticket to....Gotta love it...

    February 2, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Sgt Schultz

    Modernization is good. Although the nation would be better off going in different direction and invest in modern rail systems.
    We depend too much on trucks for freight and jets for short – medium distance travels. By the time you finish crazy long lines at the airports or waiting for the blizzards – you could already get there by rail.

    February 2, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Mike, Albany

    Mitch McConnell wants an amendment in this bill to repeal the "job killing health care act". As of today, health care reform is the law of the land and the job market is already showing signs that it is strengthening. Of course, republicans will take credit for this while they have been spending their time in congress repealing the "job killing health care act" and banning federal funding for abortion and all sorts of other job-creating measures. So keep going, Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell! You guys are doing a heckuva job!

    February 2, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. rob

    What is the point of this article ?? I recommend explaining to your less than informed readers how if the Republicans are succesfull with this vote to repeal Obama Care it will truely be another nail in its coffin even if the President vetos it.

    February 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need a better and more consistent source of funding for transportation infrastructure. I know the gas tax deals with roads to some extent. I would hope that there could be something that couldn't be tapped to for other things that went for road, rail and air transportation improvement. These keep us and our products moving.

    February 2, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    – New Nevada Airport: The bill paves the way for construction of a new airport in the southern part of Majority Leader Harry Reid's home state.
    Just a coincidence? Do you think there would be Federal land granted for a new airport in John Boehner's district in Cincinnati if it needed one? Not a chance. Not out of Harry Reid's Senate. This should be scrutinized.

    February 2, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Becker

    Democrats call everything a jobs bill but we have lost 3 million jobs since the Obama landed in office. With job success like that the American people decided throw a load of dead weight politicians out of office in November. If the GOP can't improve the atmosphere I am sure they will be gone next election along with the Campaigner & Chief.

    February 2, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Monster Zero

    Too funny, the headline is the same thing Monica Lewinsky asked Bill Clinton...

    February 2, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These dang Republicans are just wasting time and taking up space because they continue to move backwards rehashing over the same old mess to make it appear they are doing something when it amounts to nothing to do with jobs.

    February 2, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |