The Spring season has just begun and so has Temporary Extension Season as the House is poised to pass a temporary measure that will allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to continue functioning.
An original extension passed by the House last week would extend the authorization of FAA programs through July 15 and the ability to collect aviation taxes through March 2017.
But the Senate amended it last week to only authorize the aviation taxes through July 15, meaning the House needs to clear the measure before it can be sent to President Obama.
Passage of the short-term extension on Monday gives House and Senate negotiators more time for a long-term measure to reauthorize the FAA.
As you know, the appropriations process — or what could generously be referred to as a “process” — is a mess.
House Republican leadership has unveiled a budget blueprint that is ridiculous, to say the least, but as terrible as it is, it’s not terrible enough for the Flying Monkey Caucus. Republican leadership will not be able to advance their own plans because Democrats will not support it and it does not go far enough for a significant number of Republicans.
The only choice they have left it to pass a series of temporary extensions that allow federal agencies to continue operating at current funding levels, but even that will be a major hurdle for our Republican-controlled Congress.
This probably seems very familiar because the last several Spring seasons in Congress have played out exactly the same way. Ordinarily a presidential election would complicate matters and change the political calculus, but that doesn’t appear to be a significant factor this year. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has already made it clear that he intends to pursue a policy agenda that isn’t supported by their own likely presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In other words, they’ve already decided conservatism hasn’t failed.