FAA back pay bill is still alive

Lawmakers will continue to push for back pay for thousands of furloughed Federal Aviation Administration employees in stand-alone legislation, the bill's sponsor said on Tuesday.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., said he will continue to shepherd the bipartisan legislation he introduced in August that would authorize back pay for the 4,000 federal employees furloughed when the agency's funding expired at midnight on July 22 after Congress failed to come to an agreement to extend the FAA's funding. The money for the retroactive pay would come from the Aviation Trust Fund. The bill currently is in committee.

The House on Tuesday passed on voice vote legislation that would extend the FAA's current funding levels through Jan. 31, 2012, as well as authorize funding for surface transportation programs. It is the 22nd short-term funding extension for the FAA and the 8th such stopgap measure for highways, bridges, and railways. An earlier version of the legislation included a provision authorizing back pay for furloughed FAA workers, but it was stripped from the final bill the House passed. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week. The FAA's current funding authority expires on Friday, while authorization for surface transportation programs runs out on Sept. 30.

"While I understand the Senate's insistence for a straight-forward FAA extension, these workers were furloughed due to no fault of their own," LoBiondo said. "They and their families experienced financial hardship due to Congress' inability to act. I continue to work with Speaker [John] Boehner [R-Ohio] and House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman [John] Mica [R-Fla.] to make this situation right and ensure back pay legislation is considered by the House," he added.

Several Republicans have joined LoBiondo in introducing the back pay legislation: Mica; House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.; Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.; and Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J. Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly co-sponsored the bill. Justin Harclerode, communications director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans, said Mica continues to support reimbursing furloughed FAA employees.

Many lawmakers, including Mica, would like to see Congress pass long-term spending authorizations for such programs in the future. "While this legislation signifies a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to move forward, it must not be just a temporary band-aid for our important aviation, highway, rail and safety programs and for job creation," Mica said. "To build our nation's infrastructure and put people to work, we need long-term authorizations of these programs."

In a speech Tuesday at Oakland International Airport, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt praised the House for passing the stopgap spending measure, but warned that the agency needs long-term reauthorization authority to function most effectively. "We cannot afford to have nearly 4,000 FAA employees sidelined again. We need these employees at work, continuing to modernize our aviation system -- continuing to adopt new technologies and procedures that are friendly to the environment and that reduce delays."

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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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