Wanted to be sure you saw this Dear Colleague from Whip Hoyer and the Ranking Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, and the Financial Services Committee, calling on Democrats to oppose the FAA extension bill on the House Floor tonight under suspension.
Today the House is scheduled to consider under suspension a bill that packages together a six-month extension of authority for the FAA along with several other provisions. We write to ask that you join us in opposing it because the Majority is using this must-pass bill to push through unrelated Republican priorities - all while continuing to block Democrats from bringing the DREAM Act to the Floor.
Democrats support reauthorization of the FAA, which is long overdue as a result of Republicans' failure to craft a bill that can obtain bipartisan majority support. Unfortunately, now that we are just days away from the expiration of the current authorization, the Majority, without consultation or cooperation with Democrats, has added a partisan package of extraneous provisions.
On health care, it extends just three of the many programs set to expire at the end of the month, leaving out bipartisan priorities like CHIP and Community Health Centers extenders. Furthermore, the tax provisions concerning disaster victims were assembled without Democratic input and leave out important items that were included for victims of prior disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Finally, on flood insurance, this bill attempts to prejudge negotiations on a bipartisan reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill does nothing to address stability of the NFIP either by increasing its borrowing authority, extending its reauthorization, or addressing affordability. Instead, the bill just includes the Republicans' main priority for reform -- expanding access of private insurers to the flood insurance market -- and places the resolution of these other critical issues in question.
While many of us could support these proposals as part of an overall package that is balanced, we should not acquiesce in this one-sided process that omits Democratic priorities key to advancing the work of making opportunity more broadly available to the American people.
That is especially true given that the Majority continues to offer no path forward for legislation to protect the DREAMers from deportation. With just five months left until the President's cruel and misguided elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program takes full effect, it is outrageous that the Majority is hijacking the must-pass FAA bill as a vehicle for its pet priorities while not giving Democrats even the opportunity to offer the DREAM Act as an amendment.
Therefore, we urge Members to oppose the FAA extension bill on suspension tonight.
Steny H. Hoyer
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Ranking Member, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Rep. Frank Pallone
Ranking Member, House Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. Richard Neal
Ranking Member, House Ways and Means Committee
Rep. Maxine Waters
Ranking Member, House Financial Services Committee