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Wed, Jun 27, 2012

Huerta Confirmation Hearings On Hold

Senators Had To Stop Process To Vote On A Farm Bill

Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta was in the middle of answering questions from the Senate Commerce Committee last week when the session was put on hold so that Senators could return to the floor to vote of a farm bill.

It's still on hold.

The Hill reports that Commerce Committee aides say that the hearing will be re-scheduled, but that no date has been set for that meeting. The delay is in part because the body is currently focusing a great deal of attention on the National Highway Bill, which has also been high on the radar of the operators of helicopter tours and others in the aviation community. An amendment to the highway bill offered by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) would allow the National Parks Service to restrict flights over certain areas, authority which is currently strictly the purview of the FAA.

So, Huerta will have to wait a while longer to see if the "acting" sobriquet will be removed from his title. His confirmation in the full Senate is not a foregone conclusion, since the FAA Administrator does not serve at the pleasure of the President. Rather, his term is for five years regardless of who is in the White House, and Republicans may try to block the nomination until after the November election.



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