GOP may drop privatization language from FAA bill

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said Tuesday the GOP leadership has "been discussing" dropping contentious language on privatizing air-traffic control jobs from the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization conference report.

Earlier in the day, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called the provision a poison pill and said he did not think it could pass the House. Hoyer also slammed GOP leaders for inserting the language in conference when neither the House bill nor the Senate bill included it.

"This is the kind of egregious process that ought to outrage the American people," Hoyer said.

In July, members of a House-Senate conference committee agreed to scrap provisions in the versions of the bill passed by each chamber that would have prevented the FAA from outsourcing air traffic controllers' jobs. They also scuttled a Senate-passed provision that would prevent the FAA from competing the jobs of 2,700 flight service specialists at 58 stations across the country, the biggest job competition in government. Flight service specialists provide weather briefings to pilots and assist with search and rescue activities, but they do not separate air traffic.

In place of these provisions, conferees adopted language that would bar outsourcing of air traffic controllers until fiscal 2008. But they exempted 71 low- and medium-activity towers from this ban, giving the FAA leeway to outsource jobs at these towers. The FAA has already privatized jobs at 218 low-activity towers.

DeLay said GOP leaders committed to moving language to extend the program's authorization before it expires Oct. 1. "I don't know how we're going to do it," DeLay added as he listed several procedural options for getting it through, such as taking up a stand-alone bill or adding it to the supplemental or the continuing resolution.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.