Going Direct: Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill Of Rights II, And Then Some

It’s edge-of-our seats time in Congress, as legislation on several key aviation proposals makes its way toward the President’s desk for his signature. The Pilot’s Bill of Rights still needs to be reconciled between House and Senate versions, and the resulting bill might contain the very good news of medication certification reform and the very bad news of a privatized ATC.

Pennsylvania Representative Bill Shuster, who’s dating an airline lobbyist, continues to passionately pursue his proposal to privatize ATC, a move that almost no one but Shuster, and the airlines, wants to happen. Still, if privatization somehow gets into the reconciled bill, all bets are off on whether it would get passed or whether President Obama would sign it.

Going Direct: Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill Of Rights II, And Then Some
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While the president has supported user fees in the past, the privatization plan would essentially give away the air traffic control system to a private nonprofit entity that would be controlled by the airlines. Because the president doesn’t have line-item veto power, he’d have to either veto the entire bill or allow the entire bill into law, including the privatization language.

No timetable yet on when the House will move forward on a final bill that mostly will mirror the Senate’s, but it’s nearly a sure thing it will happen soon. Whether the House’s version contains ATC privatization language or not remains to be seen.

That new battle, between pro and anti-privatization sides, is only now getting underway.

2 thoughts on “Going Direct: Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill Of Rights II, And Then Some

  1. Isn’t it a conflict of interest for a congressman to vote on, or sponsor an issue that is proposed by a person that he is personally involved with, ie, dating, possibly even engaged.
    It seems that stars are in his eyes rather than the good of the public, an investigation should be instituted to see if he will personally profit from the privatization of ATC.

  2. The fact that there has not been howling outrage at what is plainly a conflict of interests in Congressman Schuster’s promotion of ATC privatization is a sure sign of how America has become inured to so many of our elected officials not being able to distinguish between public service and self-serving. Perhaps the abysmal public’s respect for our nation’s leaders will continue to decline until some madman will come along to take control by claiming he is not one of the “in crowd”. I shudder to think about where we are surely headed.

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