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Legislative News
White House, Capitol Hill Talk Tax Reform
Thursday, August 01, 2013 (1073 reads)


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is hoping to have tax legislation before the committee for a markup during October, Politico reports.



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Legislative News
Transportation Spending Bill Dead Until September
Thursday, August 01, 2013 (1203 reads)


Leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives pulled the lower chamber's version of the Transportation Spending Bill from floor consideration.



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Legislative News
White House Response on GOP Effort to Defund Healthcare Law
Thursday, August 01, 2013 (1186 reads)


House Speaker John Boehner hopes to satisfy Republicans pushing to do something about the health care law—short of forcing a government shutdown over it.



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Legislative News
Student Loan Bill Awaits Obama's Signature
Thursday, August 01, 2013 (1120 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives voted 392-31 to pass student loan interest rate legislation.



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Legislative News
Logging & Wildfire Bill to Cut Red Tape Advances
Thursday, August 01, 2013 (1127 reads)


House Republicans moved a step closer to relaxing the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws in a move they say would help revive logging in national forests, reduce wildfires, and lessen rural Western counties' dependence on federal aid.



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Legislative News
Senate Approves Debt Ceiling Bill
Friday, February 01, 2013 (3052 reads)


On Jan. 31, the U.S. Senate approved a measure 64-34 to suspend the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing, following its passage last week by the Republican-led House of Representatives.



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Legislative News
Immigration Has a Tough Path Ahead
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (2820 reads)


As talk of immigration reform takes hold through the halls of the U.S. Capitol, one cannot help but recognize the high hill any immigration bill has to climb.



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Legislative News
Begich Warns Potential LaHood Successors about VMT
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (2875 reads)


Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) warns Transportation Secretary successor against talking about a vehicle miles-traveled fee.



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Legislative News
Sequester Remains Real Possibility
Monday, January 28, 2013 (2746 reads)


U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) predicted on the Sunday talk show Meet the Press that the much-feared automatic budget cuts know as sequester are going to happen, and blamed Democrats for not doing enough to stop it.



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Legislative News
Senators Attempt to Make Earmark Ban Permanent
Friday, January 25, 2013 (3198 reads)


U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are taking another shot at permanently banning legislative "earmarks," the process of Congress allocating money to specific projects.



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Legislative News
Kerry to Make 'Appropriate Judgment' on Keystone Pipeline
Friday, January 25, 2013 (2990 reads)


U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) said he would make the "appropriate judgment" on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline should he be confirmed by the Senate as secretary of state.



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Legislative News
House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 (3393 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Jan. 23 that will prevent the nation from defaulting on its debt until May. The measure passed in a 285-144 vote.



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Legislative News
Congressional Republicans Seek Temporary Debt Ceiling Hike
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 (2790 reads)


Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are forging ahead with another go-it-alone legislative strategy to gain leverage in the federal deficit fight.



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Legislative News
House to Vote to Raise Debt Ceiling for Three Months
Friday, January 18, 2013 (3338 reads)


HAI has learned the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote next week following the inauguration of President Obama on a plan to raise the debt ceiling for three months.



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Legislative News
Debt Ceiling Failure Could Prove Catastrophic
Thursday, January 17, 2013 (6793 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Jan. 17 that congressional Republicans are weighing whether to go along with a short-term debt-limit extension.



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Legislative News
New U. S. House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Named
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 (3422 reads)


New Jersey Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo has been named as chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation under the full House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.



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Legislative News
Rubio Leading Charge on GOP Immigration Bill
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 (3403 reads)


Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) may be emerging as the de facto GOP leader on immigration issues; his proposal for immigration reform could be an olive branch to many groups that rejected 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and his hard-line stance against illegal immigration.



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Legislative News
Top Tax Democrat Says 2013 Tax Reform Unlikely
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 (2541 reads)


The momentum in Washington behind what had been a widespread push for tax reform in 2013 may be slipping in the weeks following the fiscal-cliff deal that raised taxes on those earning more than $450,000 per year.



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Legislative News
Where is the Budget and Meaningful Reform?
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 (2691 reads)


President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget is way behind schedule and will not meet the February 4 congressionally mandated deadline. The last time the House and Senate agreed on a budget was 2009, and the United States continues to jerk along under a series of continuing spending resolutions.



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Legislative News
The Legislative Week Ahead in Washington
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 (3192 reads)


The U.S. Senate is not in session this week, and House Republicans will leave town Jan. 16 for their annual issues retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia, after two votes are taken on Hurricane Sandy relief the day before.



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Legislative News
Energy Update: XL Pipeline Approval Still Hanging
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 (2960 reads)


Energy watchers are still awaiting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and it is widely expected that President Obama will reject the pipeline or at least delay a decision on it even if the Nebraska governor approves the pipeline’s route through his state.



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Legislative News
House Moves Closer to Sandy Relief Package
Friday, January 11, 2013 (2514 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee will meet at 5:00 p.m. Jan 14 on the Sandy relief legislative package that contains billions in transportation funding for New York and New Jersey.



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Legislative News
Debt Ceiling Still a Concern
Thursday, January 10, 2013 (2386 reads)


The fiscal cliff deal left several issues for the 113th Congress to resolve, including trying to defuse some of the mandated discretionary spending cuts, the federal budget, and averting a government shutdown.



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Legislative News
'Bonus' Depreciation Back for 2013
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 (865 reads)


AVweb - The fiscal cliff act that was signed into law last week will extend 50-percent bonus depreciation through the end of this year for buyers of new business aircraft, the National Business Aviation Association said.



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Legislative News
Improving Job Market May Cushion Blow of Payroll-Tax Increase
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (2673 reads)


An improving job market is boosting wages and providing needed relief just as every American worker gets hit with a tax increase, Bloomberg reports.



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Legislative News
Congress Prepares for Next Battle
Monday, January 07, 2013 (2532 reads)


The fiscal cliff may be averted, for now. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during an appearance on ABC's This Week on Jan. 6 that three other big battles loom.



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Legislative News
Hurricane Aid Waits for the House
Thursday, January 03, 2013 (2519 reads)


After refusing to take up a Hurricane Sandy relief bill in the final day of the 112th Congress, speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), and majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have stated that passing such a bill will be the "first priority" of the new Congress, which began Jan. 3.



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Legislative News
U.S. Congress Resolves Fiscal Cliff: for Now
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 (2394 reads)


With a rare late-night vote on New Year's Day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan compromise to extend the majority of Bush-era tax cuts, delay automatic spending reductions for two months, and fix a number of expiring tax and spending provisions.



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Legislative News
Fiscal Cliff-Dive Appears Likely
Thursday, December 27, 2012 (3249 reads)


Following a holiday weekend with no progress on cliff talks, U.S. Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), offered a grim prognosis on the fiscal cliff just days before taxes rise and major spending cuts start to take effect.



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Legislative News
Stalemate on Fiscal Cliff Continues as Fears Abound
Friday, December 21, 2012 (2896 reads)


While Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were able to successfully pass a measure that would replace the looming sequester cuts to military and other programs, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) withdrew his "Plan B," which would have extended the income tax rate cuts for most Americans making less than $1 million



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Legislative News
U.S. House to Vote on Fiscal Cliff "Plan B"
Thursday, December 20, 2012 (2924 reads)


Only 11 days remain for the U.S. Congress to act to avert a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to hit the economy at the start of 2013.



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Legislative News
White House and Republicans Inching Closer on Fiscal Cliff Talks
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 (2482 reads)


With the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives bending further on taxes than any Republican leader in recent years, Democrats and Republicans are not very far apart on proposals to resolve the fiscal cliff.



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Legislative News
Rep. Markey Introduces UAV Privacy Legislation
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 (2615 reads)


U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Dec. 18 to establish privacy safeguards regarding the use of drones in the U.S. airspace.



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Legislative News
White House Offers Fiscal Cliff Counter Proposal
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 (2506 reads)


In a new counteroffer to Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the fiscal cliff, the White House has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for those making more than $400,000.



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Legislative News
Legislation Promoting Vehicle Miles Traveled Concept
Monday, December 17, 2012 (2938 reads)


Just as the U.S. House of Representatives is dropping its demands to ban the study of a vehicle miles traveled fee, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) was introducing his bill to require Treasury to study just such a scheme.



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Legislative News
Congress Waiting for Fiscal Cliff Deal to Emerge
Monday, December 17, 2012 (2479 reads)


Lawmakers arrived back in Washington on Dec. 17 still not knowing whether a deal will avert the fiscal cliff – aware that any eleventh-hour agreement could have them working through the holidays.



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Legislative News
Tax Talk on Capitol Hill Ahead of Fiscal Cliff
Sunday, December 16, 2012 (2661 reads)


A report from the nonpartisan  U.S. Congressional Research Service showing that cutting top tax rates does not stimulate the economy — a cornerstone of tax philosophy among many Republicans — was reissued this week after being pulled in early November amid complaints from Senate Republicans.



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Legislative News
This Week in Washington
Friday, December 14, 2012 (2670 reads)


The so-called Fiscal Cliff dominated discussions on Capitol Hill this week. Both parties remain far apart, and Republicans in Congress are still at odds with the White House. It now looks likely that Congres will have to stay in Washington and work into the holidays.



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Legislative News
Risks, Compromise, and Challenges as Fiscal Cliff Approaches
Thursday, December 13, 2012 (2479 reads)


A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 65 percent of Americans want Congress and the White House to compromise and find a solution to reduce the budget deficit.



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Legislative News
Grinch Could Steal Christmas for Congress
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 (2612 reads)


A strong likelihood is prevailing in Washington that lawmakers will work right up until Christmas Eve and return to work between Christmas and New Year's Day in order to avoid the fiscal cliff and sequestration.



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Legislative News
Plunging Off the Fiscal Cliff
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 (2404 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took to the floor of the chamber to cajole President Obama and Democrats to propose specific spending cuts they would agree on as part of a plan to avert the fiscal cliff.



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Legislative News
Talks Intensify as Fiscal Cliff Approaches
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 (2431 reads)


This is the week that the U.S. House of Representatives had initially scheduled to wrap up its lame-duck work and the congressional session. Instead, congressional Republicans and the White House have been at loggerheads.



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Legislative News
Healthcare Reform Update
Monday, December 10, 2012 (2613 reads)


The big news in healthcare this week will come outside of Congress: Dec. 14 is the deadline for states to notify Washington if they intend to run their own online insurance markets.



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Legislative News
Energy Update
Monday, December 10, 2012 (2317 reads)


In the last few weeks of 2012, action on energy and environment issues has narrowed to two areas: the fiscal cliff and regulatory action.



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Legislative News
U.S. Rep. Schiff Vows to Continue LA Helicopter Noise Fight
Thursday, December 06, 2012 (2768 reads)


On Dec. 5, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced plans to take up legislation to regulate low-flying helicopters above residential neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California.



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Legislative News
DeMint Departure Leaves Senate Transportation Panel Scrambling
Thursday, December 06, 2012 (2701 reads)


On Dec. 6, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced his departure from the Senate, effective in January. DeMint had been expected to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) as the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Passes Wildfire Aircraft Transfer Act
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 (2518 reads)


On Dec. 4, the U.S. Senate passed a bill reauthorizing the Defense Department that included the Wildfire Suppression Aircraft Transfer Act, a measure Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced earlier this year.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate to Take Up Russian Trade Bill
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 (2314 reads)


The U.S. Senate is taking up legislation that would end four-decade-old trade restrictions that are blocking U.S. businesses from enjoying the benefits of a more open Russian market. The bill also imposes sanctions on Russian human rights violators.



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Legislative News
Movement Seen in U.S. Congress on Immigration
Friday, November 30, 2012 (2408 reads)


On Nov. 27, U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) unveiled legislation that would create three new visa categories for young immigrants who enroll in college or join the military, some of the first measurable movement on immigration since the U.S. elections.



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Legislative News
Congressman Wants UAV Privacy Concerns Addressed
Thursday, November 29, 2012 (2860 reads)


Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is taking aim at the FAA for not paying enough attention to privacy as it develops a rule to integrate UAVs into the U.S. national airspace.



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Legislative News
House Aviation Subcommittee Blasts TSA Administrator
Thursday, November 29, 2012 (2889 reads)


Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Aviation Subcommittee, Tom Petri (R-Wis.), blasted the TSA for declining to attend a hearing Nov. 29 on how the agency's policies affect air travel.



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Legislative News
Senate Passes Udall Biofuel Amendment
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 (2655 reads)


The U.S. Senate voted 62 to 37 to approve an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to strike provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act that barred the military from buying biofuels when more expensive than traditional fuels, except for in a research capacity.



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Legislative News
Progress Slow on Fiscal Cliff Talks
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 (2534 reads)


Congress returned to Washington this week, confronted with a calendar that leaves a month to strike a deal on a wide range of more than $500 billion in tax and spending issues.



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Legislative News
Rep. Schuster to Chair House Transportation Panel
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 (2637 reads)


Bill Schuster (R-Pa.) has been selected by his colleagues to chair the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, set to take his seat in January at the start of the 113th Congress.



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Legislative News
Senator Likely to Lift Hold on Huerta
Monday, November 26, 2012 (2613 reads)


Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will "likely lift the objection today" on President Barack Obama's nomination for the top job in the FAA, a Senate aide told POLITICO.



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Legislative News
Is a Carbon Tax Deal on the Horizon?
Monday, November 19, 2012 (2966 reads)


If the U.S. Congress seriously considers a carbon tax as part of comprehensive tax reform, lawmakers will face the same issue that has bogged down most energy and climate bills in the past two years: what role should the Environmental Protection Agency play in regulating carbon emissions?



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Legislative News
Immigration Reform on the Horizon?
Monday, November 19, 2012 (6434 reads)


U.S. Congressional Democrats' plan to work on a comprehensive immigration bill early next year may quickly move the debate past Republicans who are still carefully calibrating positions on more modest measures.



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Legislative News
Democrats Say "No" to Entitlement Reforms
Thursday, November 15, 2012 (3292 reads)


On Fri., Nov. 16, congressional leaders will head to the White House to meet with President Obama to find common ground on how to avoid the fiscal cliff.



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Legislative News
"Fiscal Cliff:" Democrats and Republicans Stake Out Positions
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 (3114 reads)


As the U.S. Congress returns to work this week, both parties are staking out their positions on the Fiscal Cliff, the bundle of expiring tax provisions and budget cuts that could topple the fragile U.S. economy.



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Legislative News
Americans Want Congress to Act on Jobs, Immigration
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 (3486 reads)


According to a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted ahead of the crucial lame duck session beginning this week, more Americans say it is "very important" for Congress to "address the job situation."



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Legislative News
Mandates, Deficit Deals to Avoid Fiscal Cliff
Monday, November 12, 2012 (3051 reads)


The rhetoric is ramping up in Washington as the lame duck session of Congress gets underway this week. Lawmakers on both ends of the political spectrum have staked out their positions as negotiations prepare to get underway to avoid the perils of the fiscal cliff.



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Legislative News
US House to Consider Bill to Normalize Russia Trade Relations
Monday, November 12, 2012 (3252 reads)


HAI has learned that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider a long-delayed bill to normalize trade relations with Russia as one of its first orders of business during the post-election lame duck session.
 



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Legislative News
Obama Invites Congressional Leaders to White House
Friday, November 09, 2012 (3482 reads)


In his first remarks since the election, President Barack Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House next week to begin negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."



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Legislative News
Stark Reality: Economic Challenges Lie Ahead in Lame Duck
Friday, November 09, 2012 (3504 reads)


There is absolute agreement in Washington that the most important economic challenges of President Obama's second term begin next week in the lame duck session of Congress. Democrats and Republicans must defuse the potential recession-inducing effects of the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for next year.



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Legislative News
House to Consider EU Emissions Bill Next Week
Thursday, November 08, 2012 (3146 reads)


HAI has learned that the U.S. House of Representatives may clear a bill next week intended to shield U.S. airlines from the European Union's emissions trading scheme. A similar bill was passed earlier this year in the U.S. Senate.



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Legislative News
Ahead in Washington after the Election
Thursday, November 08, 2012 (3066 reads)


President Obama and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are preparing to square off over the "fiscal cliff" when the lame duck session of Congress gets under way.



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Legislative News
Major Regulations for Health Reform Coming Soon
Wednesday, November 07, 2012 (3121 reads)


Regulators are likely to be busy in the lame duck session of the U.S. Congress - with major regulations needed to implement President Obama's healthcare law as Health and Human Services and Treasury departments prepare for legislative deadlines related to health reform.



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Legislative News
Members of Congress Ask for Additional Disaster Aid
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 (3023 reads)


A bipartisan group of 44 members of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut wants Congress to provide disaster assistance beyond the $7 billion now available for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.



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Legislative News
Congress to Resume "To Do" List
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 (2936 reads)


The U.S. Congress will soon return to a long lame-duck agenda. Averting sequestration and addressing expiring tax cuts are among the items on Congress’s "to do" list.



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Legislative News
House Democrats May Consider Extension of Payroll Tax
Thursday, November 01, 2012 (2615 reads)


Democrats in U.S. House of Representatives say that keeping extension to the payroll tax holiday issue alive is good policy and good politics during impending fiscal cliff negotiations.



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Legislative News
Senate Republicans Seek Joint Hearing on Calif. Gas Prices
Friday, October 26, 2012 (2731 reads)


Top U.S. Senate energy and environmental committee Republicans are asking Democrats for a joint hearing on the recent record increase of gasoline prices in California, including a per-gallon hike of 50 cents in just one week.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senators Seek Hearing on California Gas Prices
Thursday, October 25, 2012 (2740 reads)


Sens. Lisa Murkowski and James Inhofe write to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman and Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, requesting joint committee hearing on cause of surge in California gas prices.



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Legislative News
Rep. Waxman: Speed Up Avgas Transition
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (2747 reads)


A top U.S. House of Representatives Democrat wants the Obama administration to speed up its plans to remove the lead from fuel used by small aircraft, citing concerns with lead emissions – particularly at airports near populous areas.



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Legislative News
IRS Preps for "Fiscal Cliff" as Senators Work to Avoid Scenario
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (2852 reads)


According to a new Tax Policy Center analysis, if all of the tax provisions as part of the "fiscal cliff" are allowed to expire, every income group would see taxes rise by at least 3.5 percent, and each household could face an average tax hike of almost $3,500.



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Legislative News
Congress Prepares Sequester Backup Plan
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 (2710 reads)


An idea percolating in the U.S. Congress, aimed at helping avoid the "fiscal cliff," would scrap the steep across-the-board spending cuts of $109 billion set to start on January 2, and replace them with more targeted savings of approx. $55 billion.



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Legislative News
Republicans Ready to Consider Revenue in Lame Duck
Monday, October 22, 2012 (2607 reads)


Republican members of the U.S. Congress are trying to devise options that would raise revenue while preserving the current top tax rate for high-income earners of 35 percent.



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Legislative News
White House Threatens Hardball on Fiscal Cliff
Thursday, October 18, 2012 (2548 reads)


President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy.



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Legislative News
Democratic Bid to Slow Drilling Could Backfire
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (2664 reads)


The efforts of six U.S. Senate Democrats to delay oil and gas drilling leases in the Arctic Ocean until more research is carried out could have an opposite and unintended effect.



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Legislative News
U.S. Cap-and-Trade Lives On
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (2641 reads)


Cap and trade still exists in various forms on Capitol Hill, including in the new fuel efficiency standards for vehicles that President Obama regularly extols on the campaign trail as one of his most significant achievements.



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Legislative News
Utility Companies Press Congress to Renew Dividend Tax Rates
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (2488 reads)


A number of U.S. utility companies, many of which use helicopters to install and check transmission lines, are pressing Congress to renew dividend tax rates.



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Legislative News
Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling May Be Intertwined
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (2599 reads)


U.S. Congress could once again take up the task of raising the nation's borrowing limit after it tackles the job of preventing a series of tax hikes and spending cuts from kicking in on Jan. 2.



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Legislative News
Political Parties Remain Divided on 'Fiscal Cliff'
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 (2560 reads)


U.S. congressional Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on a solution to the country’s impending 'Fiscal Cliff.'



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Legislative News
Senate Panel Holds Alaska Offshore Drilling Hearing
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 (3124 reads)


U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing Oct. 11 in Anchorage, Alaska to examine the lessons learned by petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell Alaska while drilling in the Arctic.



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Legislative News
Repealing Deductions Covers Four Percent of Tax Breaks
Monday, October 15, 2012 (2461 reads)


Unwinding U.S. tax breaks may only help pay for a 4 percent reduction in income taxes.



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Legislative News
The U.S. Talks Taxes
Friday, October 12, 2012 (2379 reads)


Former White House economic adviser warns against letting payroll tax cut expire at the end of the year, a view at odds with many Democrats on Capitol Hill and within the Obama administration.



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Legislative News
Support Lacking for the Senate’s 'Gang of Eight'
Thursday, October 11, 2012 (2571 reads)


A bipartisan group of eight Senators who hope to solve the fiscal issues facing Congress in the coming lame-duck session is still at work, but has never been able to come to agreement on the biggest issues affecting the deficit — primarily entitlement reform and taxes. Consequently, it has not been able to produce a bill or create buy-in for its policy specifics from at least 60 Senators, the number needed to overcome a filibuster.



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Legislative News
Senate Committee to Hold Arctic Drilling Hearing in Alaska
Thursday, October 11, 2012 (2324 reads)


U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to hold field hearing in Anchorage, Alaska on Oct. 11, examining lessons learned following the first season of exploratory drilling activity in the Arctic.



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Legislative News
Top Appropriations Democrat Outlines Costs of DoD Sequestration
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 (2640 reads)


The top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee said Oct. 9 that defense spending could be reduced by an additional $10 billion if the across-the-board Pentagon cuts hit in 2013. A letter by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) to his Congressional colleagues says that the total defense cuts under sequestration would be $60.6 billion in 2013, which is $10 billion higher than the figure cited by OMB.



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Legislative News
NY Senator Hardens Stance for Lame Duck
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 (2552 reads)


Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Oct. 9 outlined a broad plan that he said could pave the way to a grand fiscal bargain. To strike a deal to avert billions of dollars of year-end spending cuts and expiring tax cuts, he said, Democrats and Republicans must abandon the reform model established during the last major tax overhaul in 1986 under President Reagan.



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Legislative News
Boehner Wary of Lame-Duck Deal
Monday, October 08, 2012 (2457 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner  (R-Ohio) says cobbling together a large-scale deal during the lame-duck session of Congress would not only be hard, but also the wrong thing for the country.
“I think that’s difficult to do,” Boehner said in an interview with POLITICO, when asked about the prospects for a large-scale deficit deal in November and December.



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Legislative News
Online Sales Tax Looms in Lame Duck Session
Thursday, October 04, 2012 (2585 reads)


U.S. brick-and-mortar retailers and other supporters are hopeful that Congress may finally act on legislation that would close a loophole created by a 1992 Supreme Court decision. That loophole has allowed online and catalog retailers to avoid collecting sales taxes from customers who live in states where those businesses have no store or other physical presence.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Leaders Work to Avoid Sequester
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 (2625 reads)


U.S. Senate leaders close in on path for dealing with the "fiscal cliff," opting to try to use a postelection session of Congress to reach agreement on a comprehensive deficit reduction deal.



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Legislative News
EU Working toward Global Greenhouse Gas Solution
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 (2637 reads)


The European Union is "working towards an internationally agreed global solution to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from ships."



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Legislative News
EU Emissions Bill Hits another Snag
Monday, October 01, 2012 (2378 reads)


After holds on a bill forbidding U.S. companies from participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme were dropped, some House of Representatives Democrats have objected to the changes, meaning it cannot be fast-tracked before the November elections.



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Legislative News
Senators Form Bi-partisan UAS Caucus
Thursday, September 27, 2012 (2610 reads)


U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (R-W.V.) have formed a bi-partisan Senate Unmanned Aerial Systems Caucus.



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Legislative News
Congress Exits, Taxes, and the Race for the White House
Monday, September 24, 2012 (2409 reads)


All eyes in Washington, D.C. are now on the November elections to see who wins the White House and control of the two chambers of the U.S. Congress.



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Legislative News
Senate Passes EU Emissions Bill and Continuing Resolution
Monday, September 24, 2012 (2423 reads)


U.S. Senate wraps up business until November elections – passing stopgap bill to fund government for another six months and a bill to exempt U.S. airlines from participating in European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.



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Legislative News
Green Card Immigration Bill Fails in House
Friday, September 21, 2012 (2783 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives votes down Republican bill to create new Green Card category for foreign students holding doctorate and master's degrees from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering, and math.



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Legislative News
Another Delay in Senate over EU Emissions Bill
Friday, September 21, 2012 (2544 reads)


While the U.S. House of Representatives is closely watching Senate legislation to address and curb the European Union emissions trading scheme, Senator Jeff Merkley has further held up the bill .



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Legislative News
Last Order of Business - Fund the Government
Friday, September 21, 2012 (2518 reads)


U.S. Senate further delays vote on the continuing resolution to keep the government funded past October 1 for six months.



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Legislative News
Capital Gains & Payroll Tax Cut Update
Friday, September 21, 2012 (2404 reads)


Many uncertainties face the U.S. economy, including the European debt crisis and turbulance in the Middle East which has placed upward pressure on oil prices.



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Legislative News
OMB Sequestration Report Fails to Meet Mandated Analysis
Friday, September 21, 2012 (2273 reads)


Republican Senators John Thune and Jeff Sessions criticize the Office of Management and Budget for failing to meet a legally mandated analysis in its recent report on sequestration.



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Legislative News
New Objection Blocks EU Emissions Bill
Thursday, September 20, 2012 (2423 reads)


Another Democratic objection has cropped up on the bill that would prohibit U.S. companies from participating in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme.



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Legislative News
Senate Veterans Jobs Bill Dead Ahead of Election
Thursday, September 20, 2012 (2606 reads)


Legislation to assist jobless veterans is all but dead this week. Senate Republicans procedurally blocked the bill from moving, citing violations of Senate budget rules.



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Legislative News
One Hold Lifted on EU Emissions Bill
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (2412 reads)


Sen. Ben Cardin announced Sept. 19 that he would be removing his hold on a Senate bill intended to shield the U.S. airline industry from complying with the European Union’s (EU) emissions trading scheme.



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Legislative News
A Busy Wednesday on Capitol Hill
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (2329 reads)


U.S. Senate Finance Committee met with Federal Reserve chairman, Congressional Budget Office director, and chief of staff of Joint Committee on Taxation on Sept. 19 to discuss "fiscal cliff."



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Legislative News
House Republicans Support Immigration Bill
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (2322 reads)


Legislation introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith in the U.S. House of representatives would make it easier for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math to stay in the U.S.



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Legislative News
Trade Issues Heat Up
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 (2237 reads)


Trade issues remain on the minds of many members of the U.S. Congress as House of Representatives Republican leaders blame Democrats for holding up a bill that would normalize trade relations with Russia.



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Legislative News
Senate Movement Reported on EU Emissions Bill
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 (2250 reads)


Logjam that has held up a Senate bill intended to shield U.S. airline industry from complying with European Union emissions trading scheme may be cleared up before Congress adjourns for election season.



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Legislative News
Congress Looks Toward Recess
Monday, September 17, 2012 (2191 reads)


U.S. Congress is on pace to approve a continuing resolution to fund the government for six months. The federal government’s fiscal year begins October 1.



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Legislative News
House Republicans to Hold Immigration Bill Vote
Friday, September 14, 2012 (2485 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives plans to bring legislation to create new Green Card category for foreigners who have received doctoral degrees from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering, and math.



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Legislative News
EU Emissions Bill in the Works
Friday, September 14, 2012 (2508 reads)


Late deal-making derails plan to bring up bill to prohibit United States from participating in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Approves Stopgap Spending Bill
Friday, September 14, 2012 (2451 reads)


Stopgap spending bill that would fund U.S. government for six months has passed the House of Representatives on a 329-91 vote.



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Legislative News
Democrats Push Back Against Paul Filibuster of Vets Jobs Bill
Friday, September 14, 2012 (2268 reads)


Democrats in U.S. Senate remain hopeful they can pass legislation aimed at helping veterans find jobs, despite Republican opposition.



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Legislative News
Interior Dept. Drilling Report Sparks Fury at House Hearing
Friday, September 14, 2012 (2681 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee grills Interior Department officials over a two-year-old report that led to a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the aftermath of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.



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Legislative News
Senator Calls up EU Emissions Prohibition Bill
Thursday, September 13, 2012 (2425 reads)


U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) called up the bill he wrote with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that prohibits the United States from participating in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme EU-ETS (S.1956).



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Legislative News
U.S. Congress Considers Stopgap Funding Measure
Thursday, September 13, 2012 (2393 reads)


Stopgap measure to fund U.S. government for six months after current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 will hit House of Representatives floor Sept. 13.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Democrats Showcase Alternative to Sequester
Thursday, September 13, 2012 (2427 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) proposes idea to unravel the across-the-board spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Small Business Committee Discusses User Fees
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (2418 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee holds hearing to discuss potential effects of President Obama's $100 per flight user fee proposal on small businesses in the aviation community.



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Legislative News
House Transportation Committee Looks at NextGen Delays
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (2362 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Aviation Subcommittee holds hearing to examine delays in implementation of FAA's NextGen program.



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Legislative News
Estate Taxes, the Fiscal Cliff, and the Road Ahead
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (2459 reads)


HAI's RotorNews reported in August the release by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee of a tax-extender bill. Senate leadership is now mulling over whether to bring it to the floor for consideration.



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Legislative News
Moody's Could Downgrade U.S. Credit Rating
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (2201 reads)


Budget negotiations during the lame duck session of Congress following the November elections will be key to maintaing the U.S. government's Aaa rating.



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Legislative News
House Holds Security Hearings on September 11th Anniversary
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (2570 reads)


As the U.S. marks the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, two House of Representatives committees are holding hearings about the country's transportation security, Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, foreign seafarer identification, and foreign ports.



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Legislative News
Legislation to Encourage Refinancing of Home Mortgages
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (2386 reads)


Legislation was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate this week to encourage refinancing, and the revamped bill could be harder for Republicans to oppose.



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Legislative News
Congress Moving Legislation to Keep U.S. Government Funded
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (2399 reads)


U.S. Congress expected to pass stopgap spending measure this week rather than adopting a budget, thus passing the buck to 2013 on many important fiscal decisions.



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Legislative News
U.S. House to Examine Impact of User Fees on Small Business
Monday, September 10, 2012 (2369 reads)


Aviation user fees will come under scrutiny at a hearing scheduled for Sept. 12 by the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee.



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Legislative News
"Holds" Remain on Huerta Nomination, EU Emissions Bill
Monday, September 10, 2012 (2706 reads)


Two big aviation-related matters are pending as the U.S. Congress returns this week, and both seem like they are going to stay that way - the nomination of Michael Huerta as FAA administrator, and a bill to exempt the U.S. from the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme.



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Legislative News
Congress Faces Full Plate on its Return
Monday, September 10, 2012 (2548 reads)


U.S. Congress returns from its month-long August recess with no shortage of items on its to-do list.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senator Plans Next Surface Transportation Bill
Friday, September 07, 2012 (2489 reads)


U.S. surface transportation bill is now law, but chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has already started work on the next one.



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Legislative News
FAA Issues Study on In-Flight Use of Cell Phones
Thursday, September 06, 2012 (2807 reads)


FAA says ultimate decision regarding cell phone use on airplanes does not rest in their hands, but in those of the Federal Communications Commission.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Plans Schedule for Return to Session
Thursday, September 06, 2012 (2398 reads)


Republicans in U.S. House of Representatives have slowly started the process of setting out the agenda for when the House returns from its summer recess.



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Legislative News
House Republicans: Offshore Permitting Process "Still Broken"
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 (2455 reads)


U.S. Department of the Interior is allowing Shell oil to proceed with initial drilling in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, but is not letting the company drill into oil-bearing zones.



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Legislative News
Highway Trust Fund Dilemma
Thursday, August 23, 2012 (2115 reads)


As Congress summer recess fades, eyes turn towards possibility of a lame duck deal to reprieve the ailing Highway Trust Fund.



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Legislative News
CBO Warns of Recession in 2013 Due to Fiscal Cliff
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 (2177 reads)


Congressional Budget Office warns U.S. economy would contract by 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013 if Bush-era tax rates expire and automatic spending cuts are implemented.



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Legislative News
Court Strikes Down EPA Air Pollution Rule
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 (2229 reads)


Court strikes down rule that forces cuts in soot and smog-forming power plant emissions that cross state lines.



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Legislative News
Call for Progress on Repair Station Security Rule
Monday, August 20, 2012 (2433 reads)


HAI and other aviation trade associations sign letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary requesting progress update on Transportation Security Administration rule on certification of foreign repair stations.



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Legislative News
Environmental Groups Oppose Action Against EU
Friday, August 10, 2012 (2518 reads)


Environmental groups are pressing the Obama administration to hold fast against industry calls for sanctions against the European Union for its aviation emissions trading scheme.



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Legislative News
FAA’s Long Island Mandatory Noise Route Under Scrutiny
Thursday, August 09, 2012 (3127 reads)


Two prominent members of Congress are questioning how the FAA's Long Island North Shore Route rule came to be, and are urging the agency to reconsider the rule’s implementation.



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Legislative News
EU-ETS Bill on Hold
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 (2301 reads)


U.S. Congress adjourns for August recess, canceling scheduled pro forma sessions, including for EU-ETS bill.



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Legislative News
Colorado Senators Request Emergency Wildfire Appropriations
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 (2636 reads)


Colorado U.S. senators dispatch letter to Senate appropriators urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to consider an emergency supplemental appropriation for wildfire affected areas in Colorado.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Members Concern over UAV Integration
Monday, August 06, 2012 (2661 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives members write to acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta over integration of unmanned aerial vehicles into National Airspace System.



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Legislative News
EU-ETS Prohibition Bill Hits a Snag
Monday, August 06, 2012 (2494 reads)


At least one Democratic senator is blocking a unanimous consent request to pass the chamber's European Union emissions trading scheme prohibition bill .



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Legislative News
House T&I Members File Comment on Labor Rules
Monday, August 06, 2012 (2459 reads)


Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, and five other committee members write to National Mediation Board to say that FAA labor reforms are supposed to apply to all elections.



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Legislative News
Ex-Drilling Chief Criticizes House Panel
Monday, August 06, 2012 (2228 reads)


Former director of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at U.S. Dept. of Interior criticizes investigation into a now two-year-old report that led to the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.



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Legislative News
Senator Aims to Block Huerta Vote
Friday, August 03, 2012 (2995 reads)


U.S. Senate Commerce Committee member Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) tells POLITICO his move to block a floor vote on FAA administrator nominee Michael Huerta will "probably" last for the year.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Fails to Advance Cybersecurity Bill
Friday, August 03, 2012 (2675 reads)


Cybersecurity bill that had been one of Obama administration's top national security priorities is blocked by Republican filibuster, severely limiting its prospects for passage this year.



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Legislative News
Senators Introduce Bill to Curb Regulations
Thursday, August 02, 2012 (2352 reads)


Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (R-Va.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduce legislation requiring independent federal agencies to analyze costs and benefits of new regulations.



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Legislative News
House Approves Bill to Extend Bush Tax Cuts
Thursday, August 02, 2012 (2168 reads)


Republicans in U.S. House of Representatives approve bill to extend all Bush-era tax cuts. One Republican, Rep. Tim Johnson (Ill.), voted against the Republican plan, while 20 Democrats voted for it.



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Legislative News
Senate Discusses Online Sales Tax
Thursday, August 02, 2012 (2368 reads)


U.S. Senate holds hearing Aug. 1 on S. 1832, the Marketplace Fairness Act introduced by Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) that would require online retailers to collect sales tax regardless of the state the sale is made in.



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Legislative News
Rep. Markey Circulates UAV Privacy Bill
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 (2821 reads)


U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) releases draft of "Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2012," amending FAA reauthorization Congress passed in February.



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Legislative News
Huerta, Transport, and Defense Sequester on Congress Agenda
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 (2542 reads)


As acting U.S. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta's confirmation to permanently head the agency passes Senate Commerce Committee, it now moves to full Senate for vote.



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Legislative News
House Committee Approves Aerial Surveillance Bill
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 (2571 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approves Farmer's Privacy Act.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senator Pushes for Privacy Act Update
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 (2129 reads)


U.S. lawmakers and privacy advocates say 1974 law governing the way the federal government handles Americans' personal information needs an update.



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Legislative News
Senate Takes on Small Business Tax Breaks
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 (2249 reads)


U.S. Senate Finance Committee will soon mark up legislation to extend dozens of expired and expiring tax provisions through 2013.



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Legislative News
Huerta Nomination Approved by U.S. Senate Panel
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 (2474 reads)


U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approves nomination of Michael Huerta to fill FAA administrator position permanently.



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Legislative News
Senate Committee Approves EU-ETS Prohibition Bill
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 (2763 reads)


U.S. Senate Commerce Committee favorably reports European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act at markup session on July 31.



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Legislative News
Congressional Leaders Reach Deal to Keep Government Funded
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 (2169 reads)


HAI reports House and Senate Leaders have reached a deal to keep the U.S. government funded for six months.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Committee Negotiating Tax-Extenders Deal
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 (2398 reads)


U.S. Senate Finance Committee members met on July 30 to resolve deal on bipartisan bill to revive package of tax breaks and benefits that have already expired or will do so at the end of this year.



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Legislative News
Aircraft Transfer Bill to Reduce Forest Service Costs
Monday, July 30, 2012 (2660 reads)


As previously reported in RotorNews, U.S. Senator John McCain has introduced the Wildfire Suppression Aircraft Transfer Act to transfer 14 C-27J aircraft from the U.S. Air Force to the Forest Service for the express use of firefighting.



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Legislative News
Busy Week Ahead for U.S. Congress
Monday, July 30, 2012 (2523 reads)


The U.S. Congress has a busy week scheduled as both chambers eye Aug. 1 to begin the traditional August recess which will have the halls of the Capitol quiet until Sept. 10.



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Legislative News
U.S. Federal Deficit Reduction and Sequestration
Monday, July 30, 2012 (2539 reads)


When the U.S. Congress and the President cut the deal to increase the debt ceiling last year, it included a failsafe provision if the committee of 12 Senators and Representatives, created to come up with a deficit reduction plan, failed to do so.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate to Vote on Huerta Nomination
Friday, July 27, 2012 (2580 reads)


Senate Commerce Committee to meet July 31 to vote on nomination of Michael Huerta as FAA administrator.



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Legislative News
Tax Plan May Get Vote in U.S. House
Friday, July 27, 2012 (2415 reads)


Republican leaders in U.S. House of Representatives signal that they will allow vote next week on Senate-passed Democratic plan to renew tax rates on family incomes of up to $250,000.



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Legislative News
Momentum Builds to Allow U.S. States to Collect Internet Taxes
Friday, July 27, 2012 (2458 reads)


States may be closer than ever to persuading Congress to enact legislation that would increase their sales-tax revenues from online purchases.



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Legislative News
What Effect Will Sequester Have on FAA?
Friday, July 27, 2012 (2411 reads)


U.S. Senate passed bill late July 25 that calls on Obama administration to lay out exactly how and where the Budget Control Act's cuts will come, and what effects they will have.



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Legislative News
Sen. McCain Introduces Wildfire Aircraft Bill
Thursday, July 26, 2012 (3012 reads)


U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduces Wildfire Suppression Aircraft Transfer Act, transferring 14 C-27J aircraft from the U.S. Air Force to the Forest Services.



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Legislative News
Republicans Consider Six-Month Budget Extension
Thursday, July 26, 2012 (2291 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives conservatives consider deal with Democrats on $1.047 trillion, six-month stopgap spending bill to keep federal government running.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Passes Democrat Tax Plan
Thursday, July 26, 2012 (2307 reads)


Republicans in U.S. Senate agree to allow simple majority vote on Democrats' tax-cut bill which extends Bush-era tax cuts for those making under $250,000 per year.



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Legislative News
Russian Trade Sanctions Repeal Bill to be Marked Up
Thursday, July 26, 2012 (2188 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee scheduled to mark up legislation to permanently repeal Cold War-era trade sanctions against Russia.



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Legislative News
Debate Continues Over U.S. Defense Biofuel Programs
Thursday, July 26, 2012 (1891 reads)


Republicans in U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this year have proposed cutting funds for alternative-energy programs in defense authorization bill.



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Legislative News
Panel Examines Effect of Overregulation on Wildfire Management
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (2669 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee holds hearing focusing on impacts of catastrophic wildfires and how Endangered Species Act litigation blocks activities that help prevent and fight fires.



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Legislative News
Criticism Mounts of U.S. Federal Reserve's Power
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (2558 reads)


The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Federal Reserve could act as soon as next week to spur the economic recovery.



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Legislative News
Republicans Push Replacement to Obama Offshore Energy Plan
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (2501 reads)


Republicans on both sides of Capitol push slew of energy measures going into November elections.



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Legislative News
Sen. Mike Lee Introduces Bill to Curb Wildfire Destruction
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (2266 reads)


U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced legislation that would protect communities near federal lands that are at risk of catastrophic wildfire destruction.



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Legislative News
Senate Committee Preps for Vote on Huerta
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (2449 reads)


U.S. Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold vote on FAA administrator nominee Michael Huerta before August recess.



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Legislative News
FAA Would Not Get a Break in Regulation Freeze
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (2366 reads)


FAA will not get a break from the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act which would freeze regulations that cost the economy more than $100 million unless the unemployment rate is at less than six percent.



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Legislative News
Sen. Toomey Calls for Bush Tax-Cut Extension
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (2384 reads)


Republicans in U.S. Senate argue for extending Bush-era tax cuts for all brackets, and for comprehensive tax reform as the only way to avoid undermining the ailing U.S. economy.



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Legislative News
House Judiciary Committee Explores Internet Sales Tax Bill
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (2479 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee holds hearing to examine bill that would require online retailers to collect state sales tax, similar to bricks-and-mortar stores.



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Legislative News
Pilot's Bill of Rights Clears U.S. House
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (2296 reads)


Pilot's bill of rights cleared U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote on July 23. The measure heads to President Obama's desk and awaits his signature.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Bill Designates New Wilderness Land
Monday, July 23, 2012 (2316 reads)


U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduce Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act of 2012, designating lands within San Juan National Forrest in Colorado as wilderness.



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Legislative News
CBO to Release Health Care Budget Score
Monday, July 23, 2012 (2404 reads)


U.S. Congressional Budget Office slated to release new score of President Obama's health care law the week of July 23; new analysis likely to reduce numbers expected to receive Medicaid.



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Legislative News
Taxes, Sequestration, and Offshore Oil
Monday, July 23, 2012 (2387 reads)


Congress gears up to take largely symbolic votes on extending the Bush-era tax cuts. Polls show that voters generally support extending the tax cuts for the middle class, but not for the wealthy.



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Legislative News
Rep. Thompson Moves to Close Flight Training Loophole
Monday, July 23, 2012 (2857 reads)


Ranking member of U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee introduces bill to close flight training loophole exposed in recent hearing of the committee.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate to Tackle Tax Extenders
Monday, July 23, 2012 (2683 reads)


U.S. Senate has two stand-alone bills to extend Bush-era tax cuts. Neither is likely to earn the 60 votes required to be considered, but both will serve as key messaging devices going into November elections.



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Legislative News
Tax Gap between Senate Parties Insignificant
Friday, July 20, 2012 (2207 reads)


U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation releases new information that shows Republicans and Democrats are effectively fighting over $51 billion in tax policy for the next fiscal year.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Discusses Domestic Use of UAVs
Thursday, July 19, 2012 (2606 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management holds hearing to examine risks associated with domestic use of UAVs.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Moves toward Normalizing Trade with Russia
Thursday, July 19, 2012 (2578 reads)


Chairman of U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee has reached agreement with ranking member Sander Levin on a plan for normalizing trade relations with Russia.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Plans for Continuing Resolution
Thursday, July 19, 2012 (2395 reads)


Republicans in U.S. House of Representatives are inching toward publicly acknowledging a reality they long privately knew: the chamber will pass a continuing funding resolution at the current level to avoid a shutdown of the U.S. government at the end of the year.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Holds Hearing on FAA Contract Towers
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (2433 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives holds hearing to examine FAA contract tower program, which currently covers 250 towers in 49 states.



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Legislative News
Congress Still at Odds on Normalizing Russian Trade
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (2379 reads)


Senate legislation to repeal Cold War-era sanctions on Russia could conflict with House of Representatives over procedure and timing.



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Legislative News
U.S. Economic Update
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (2345 reads)


U.S. Federal Reserve releases "beige book" which indicate that U.S. growth remains moderate and businesses have expressed "cautious optimism" about the economy.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Recognizes Heroic Efforts of Firefighters and Military
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (2008 reads)


U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 523 on July 16 honoring the heroic efforts of firefighters and military personnel to contain the wildfires that have been ravaging the Western United States.



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Legislative News
U.S. House to Vote on Pilot's Bill of Rights
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (2313 reads)


Pilot's bill of rights scheduled for vote in House of Representatives on July 23. Bill would make it easier for pilots who are being investigated to know the charges against them.



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Legislative News
Key Republican Senator Opposes Lame Duck Session
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (2618 reads)


Sen. Jim Demint calls on Republican leaders to oppose holding much-anticipated lame duck congressional session following November elections.



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Legislative News
U.S. House to Investigate Wind Turbine Permit
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (2515 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform and Transportation and Infrastructure committees are investigating whether politics played a role in the FAA's decision to issue a "determination of no hazard" notice for the Cape Wind energy farm off the cost of the Nantucket Sound.



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Legislative News
Ahead in the U.S. Congress
Monday, July 16, 2012 (2329 reads)


Senate Democrats plan to force vote the week of July 23 on bill that would provide tax breaks for firms that return overseas jobs to the United Sates, and raise taxes on companies that outsource jobs.



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Legislative News
Senator Inhofe Continues Work on Pilot's Bill of Rights
Monday, July 16, 2012 (2488 reads)


Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) thanked U.S. House Republican conferees last week for their work on the transportation bill, but he also took the opportunity to mention his pilot's bill of rights.



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Legislative News
Republican Leaders Embrace U.S. Online Sales Tax
Monday, July 16, 2012 (2331 reads)


With cash-strapped budgets in mind, Republicans on the state and federal levels have been joining their Democratic counterparts in welcoming the idea of taxing online sales.



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Legislative News
Small Business Tax Relief Fails to Advance in U.S. Senate
Monday, July 16, 2012 (2396 reads)


U.S. Senate majority leader introduces small business tax relief bill, S.2247, which promptly fails to receive necessary votes.



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Legislative News
Lawmakers Look to Fix TSA
Friday, July 13, 2012 (2354 reads)


Panel of former U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials, flight attendants, and industry analysts advocate for tenured position for agency's head, enhanced training for checkpoint supervisors, and greater authority for individual airports.



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Legislative News
GA Depreciation Legislation Introduced in U.S. House
Friday, July 13, 2012 (2589 reads)


Tucked into a bill to extend research and development tax credit is a provision introduced that would extend depreciation of general aviation aircraft to seven years.



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Legislative News
Wildfire Fuel Reduction Bill Introduced in U.S. House
Friday, July 13, 2012 (2500 reads)


Reps. introduce Healthy Forest Management Act in U.S. House of Representatives to allow federal government to collaborate with state and county governments to reduce risk of wildfires.



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Legislative News
Big Step Forward on Skilled Worker Immigration Bill
Thursday, July 12, 2012 (2502 reads)


U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member removes huge barrier to legislation that could speed visa system for highly skilled immigrants.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Votes to Repeal Obama Health Care Law
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 (2242 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives votes to repeal President Obama's health care reform law, making it the thirty-first time the House has voted to repeal all or part of the measure.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate May be Forced into Massive November Spending Bill
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 (2324 reads)


U.S. Senate majority leader faults House Republicans as reason why it is unlikely Congress will be able to pass the 12 annual appropriations bills this year.



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Legislative News
Republicans Ready to Block Democrats' Small Business Bill
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 (2479 reads)


Republicans in U.S. Congress suggest they are likely to block Democratic plan to give small businesses tax breaks for boosting payroll, citing desire for an open amendment process.



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Legislative News
Obama Calls for Partial Extension of Bush Tax Cuts
Monday, July 09, 2012 (2268 reads)


Barack Obama calls for one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making less than $250,000 a year, as Republicans plan to vote to extend all Bush cuts.



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Legislative News
President Obama Signs RESTORE Act
Friday, July 06, 2012 (2886 reads)


Included in surface transportation bill signed by President Obama on July 6 was the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Passes Pilot's Bill of Rights
Friday, June 29, 2012 (2862 reads)


The U.S. Senate has passed the Pilot's Bill of Rights (S.1335) sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and a bipartisan group of 65 cosponsors. The legislation contains a number of provisions that would make the FAA and NTSB appeals process’ more transparent.



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Legislative News
U.S. Congress Finds Compromise on Highway Bill, Student Loans
Thursday, June 28, 2012 (2525 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate finalized a compromise late in the evening on June 27 regarding the surface transportation reauthorization bill, which now also includes provisions to extend lowered student loan interest rates. The agreement came just days before federal funding for transportation programs is set to expire, and ahead of a hike in interest rates on federal loans for college students.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Committee Takes Action on Federal Travel Spending
Thursday, June 28, 2012 (2458 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight and Government Reform Committee has sent the 2012 Government Spending Accountability Act (GSA Act) to the full House. The legislation adds new restrictions to federal agencies that wish to send employees to conferences. It was developed in April following the discovery of wasteful spending by the Government Services Administration on travel.



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Legislative News
U.S. Payroll-Tax Holiday Heads Toward the End of its Short Life
Thursday, June 28, 2012 (2663 reads)


Members of the U.S. Congress, along with the Obama administration, are showing little appetite to extend the payroll-tax holiday beyond the end of 2012. Such an extension would add another $95 billion to the federal deficit in fiscal 2013, according to calculations by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senators Urge Passage of Small Business Legislation
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (2521 reads)


U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Small Business Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) are looking forward to one of the next pieces of legislation on the Senate’s agenda following the July 4 recess – a measure to reduce taxes on small businesses. A key vote on their bill, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, is expected to occur once the Senate returns from its Independence Day recess on July 9.



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Legislative News
U.S. House to Vote on Aviation Security Advisory Committee
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (2640 reads)


The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on H.R. 1447, a bill to create and advisory committee on aviation security within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). HAI urges members to contact your representative and ask them to support H.R. 1447. You can find your representative’s contact information at www.house.gov.

The full text of the bill can be found here.



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Legislative News
U.S. Congressional Republicans Push to Avoid Sequester
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (2440 reads)


U.S. Congressional Republicans are telling their own party leadership it’s time to move now to head off steep across-the-board budget cuts to defense spending, rather than wait until after the November elections.

Leaders from the Pentagon and across the defense industry, as well as the leadership of the armed services committees in both chambers of Congress, have stepped up their campaign to avoid “sequestration.” Both Republicans and Democrats agree that action needs to be taken soon.



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Legislative News
OECD Says U.S. Needs to Work on Budget and Taxes
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (2108 reads)


The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its 2012 annual report on June 26, and the big recommendation for the U.S. was to get the fiscal house in order. But the current polarized climate on Capitol Hill makes the challenge of dealing with OECD’s items of concern extremely difficult.



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Legislative News
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte: Sequestration Can Not Wait
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 (2480 reads)


Senate Armed Services Committee member Kelly Ayotte( R-N.H.) bucked the leadership of both parties on June 26 after the leaders indicated that they may put off taking up defense sequestration until after Election Day. “We can’t wait until after the election, so I’m hoping that leadership would want to come forward and resolve this in advance of the election,” she told the National Journal.



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Legislative News
Congressmen Introduce Forest Insect Risk Reduction Bill
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 (2644 reads)


Three members of Congress have introduced H.R. 5960, the Depleting Risk from Insect Infestation, Soil Erosion, and Catastrophic Fire Act of 2012. The measure would take a number of actions to mitigate the wildfire risk created by the pine beetle epidemic in the Western United States.



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Legislative News
Highway Bill, Student Loan Fix Possible Ahead of July 4th Recess
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 (2485 reads)


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has warned the Senate could stay in session through the weekend to finish up work on the Highway Bill and extend a freeze on student loan interest rates for one year. The most likely scenario will be for the House to first pass a highway bill and send it to the Senate where the student loan language will be added, and then return the bill to the House for a final vote.



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Legislative News
A Busy Week Expected in Congress
Monday, June 25, 2012 (2452 reads)


Both chambers of the U.S. Congress have a busy week planned as the July 4 recess looms. Overshadowing all of the work each chamber plans to accomplish is the need to find compromise language both parties in the House and the Senate can live with before funding authorization for highway spending expires on June 30.



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Legislative News
U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Still Pending
Monday, June 25, 2012 (2208 reads)


The U.S. Supreme Court did not issue a ruling on June 25 on health care reform as many had expected. Chief Justice John Roberts has indicated that the court will release its remaining opinions for the term on Thursday, June 28.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Leaders Reach a Deal on Student Loans
Monday, June 25, 2012 (2232 reads)


U.S. Senate leaders have effectively reached an agreement to freeze student loan interest rates at 3.4% for one additional year.  The deal would include a mix of offsets to maintain the lower interest rate including provisions related to federal employee pensions and a Republican proposal to cut of subsidized student loans after six years.



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Legislative News
Huerta Survives Hot Seat in Senate Confirmation Hearing
Friday, June 22, 2012 (2755 reads)


Acting Administrator of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, in hot seat as he faced questions on June 21 by senators during hearing on his confirmation to become permanent administrator.



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Legislative News
House THUD Appropriations Bill Queued for Next Week
Friday, June 22, 2012 (2328 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee approves open rule for $51.6 billion Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill.



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Legislative News
U.S.-Russian Trade Relations Measure before U.S. Congress
Thursday, June 21, 2012 (2899 reads)


U.S. trade lawmakers hold series of hearings to push for permanent normal trade relations with Russia; however, disagreements on best way to proceed could set up battle over timing that prevents action before Russia joins World Trade Organization.



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Legislative News
Energy Issues On the Horizon
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 (2360 reads)


White House aide for energy issues hints that Obama administration will soon approve long-awaited exploratory drilling project in the Arctic Ocean to be headed by Royal Dutch Shell.



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Legislative News
FAA Delaying Pilot Training Rule
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 (2904 reads)


Delay in the implementation date for a new pilot training rule could impact the July 21 U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Michael Huerta, acting head of the FAA.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Takes Issue with TSA Scanners
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 (2546 reads)


Several members of U.S. House of Representatives take issue with plans by Transportation Security Administration to purchase scanners which would validate boarding passes and identify forged documents.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Democrats Extend Student Loan Offer
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 (2283 reads)


Democrats offer proposal to freeze student loan interest rates, set to double on July 1.



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Legislative News
Polls Show Americans Oppose Extending Bush Tax Cuts
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 (2475 reads)


Polls indicate Americans continue to strongly oppose extending tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000 a year.



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Legislative News
Student Loans Still in Limbo
Monday, June 18, 2012 (2728 reads)


With two weeks left for to prevent student loan rates from doubling, both parties seem content to make the other look responsible.



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Legislative News
Highway Bill Negotiations & FAA Administrator Confirmation
Monday, June 18, 2012 (2440 reads)


U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are in session, and negotiations continue in order to facilitate passage of a highway bill.



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Legislative News
New Republican Proposal to Solve Fiscal Cliff
Monday, June 18, 2012 (2216 reads)


Legislative solution to U.S. economic woes might lie in new proposal released over the weekend by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.).



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Legislative News
Senate Legislation Aims to Strip TSA of Power
Friday, June 15, 2012 (2980 reads)


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced a pair of bills aimed at ending the TSA as it currently operates.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senator Pushes Pilot's Bill of Rights Measure
Friday, June 15, 2012 (3084 reads)


U.S. Senator James Inhofe asks for passage of Pilot's Bill of Rights legislation. The effort, however was blocked by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison.



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Legislative News
Expiring Tax Breaks Lead to U.S. Senate Renewal Talks
Friday, June 15, 2012 (2426 reads)


Top U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans launch effort to renew tens of billions of dollars in business tax breaks, which could signal that the two parties can find some common ground.



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Legislative News
U.S. Congressional Republicans Healthcare Quandary
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 (2197 reads)


Theories abound regarding provisions in President Obama’s healthcare law should major pieces or the entire law get thrown out.



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Legislative News
Senators Offer Provision to Normalize Russian Trade
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 (2268 reads)


Bipartisan group in U.S. Senate releases plan aimed at normalizing trade with Russia; politics and timing could still jeopardize the legislation.



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Legislative News
Student Loans and Highway Bill Seek Same Funding Mechanism
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 (2733 reads)


U.S. Senate majority leader proposes to pay for highway bill and student loan rate extension by increasing pension premiums for employers and creating a more flexible pension-accounting scheme. Republicans are not so sure.



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Legislative News
Inching Closer to Deal on Highway Bill
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 (2673 reads)


A substantial amount of work remains if the U.S. Congress is to reach agreement on a Highway Bill before the current extension runs out June 30.



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Legislative News
Top Senate Tax Writer Hints at Tax Overhaul
Monday, June 11, 2012 (2756 reads)


Senator Max Baucus, chairman of U.S. Senate Finance Committee, urges Congress to avoid "divisive" votes on tax issues before November elections.



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Legislative News
Highway Bill Negotiations & Possible Six-Month Extension
Monday, June 11, 2012 (2431 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives is in recess this week, U.S. Senate returns June 11, and conference negotiations between House and Senate continue on transportation bill.



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Legislative News
U.S. House Votes to Freeze Salaries & Allowances
Friday, June 08, 2012 (2499 reads)


U.S. Congress votes 307-102 on June 8 to freeze their salaries and allowances, as well as those of their staff.



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Legislative News
Transportation Bill Update
Friday, June 08, 2012 (3178 reads)


U.S. House of Representatives responds to Senate’s initial transportation bill offer, sending over Transportation Enhancement reform that falls somewhere between Senate’s major reforms and House’s preference to end the program altogether.



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Legislative News
Highway Bill Update
Thursday, June 07, 2012 (3806 reads)


All eyes in U.S. Congress are on surface transportation bill as clock ticks down to expiration of current legislation on June 30.



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Legislative News
Resolution on Student Loan Interest Rates in Jeopardy
Thursday, June 07, 2012 (2746 reads)


Republicans and Democrats moving further apart on a deal that would keep needs-based student loan interest rates from doubling.



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Legislative News
This Week in the U.S. Congress
Thursday, June 07, 2012 (2262 reads)


Busy week for U.S. Congress as Senate returns from recess and House of Representatives prepares for its recess next week.



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Legislative News
HAI Continues to Fight Alexander Amendment
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 (2552 reads)


U.S. Senators make proposal to House of Representatives counterparts in effort to break impasse in highway bill negotiations.



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Legislative News
U.S. Transportation Secretary Slams EU Emissions Scheme
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 (2679 reads)


U.S. Transportation Secretary slams European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, calling it a "lousy, bad policy."



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Legislative News
Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Advance in U.S. Senate
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 (2517 reads)


U.S. Senate fails to advance Paycheck Fairness Act, a Democratic Party bill aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women.



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Legislative News
Republicans Move Forward with Healthcare Strategy
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 (3766 reads)


Republicans "gaming out their plans" in case Supreme Court rules that all or part of President Obama’s healthcare law is ruled unconstitutional.



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Legislative News
STAR Act Would Help Foreign Students Work in U.S.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 (3355 reads)


U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) proposes helping former international students with graduate degrees to live and work legally in the United States.



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Legislative News
U.S. Senate Set to Take Up Agriculture Bill
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 (3043 reads)


The U.S. Senate is set to begin on what is expected to be several weeks of debate on the $969 billion dollar agriculture bill, dubbed the “Farm Bill.”



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Legislative News
Republicans Offer New Ideas on Student Loans
Friday, June 01, 2012 (2355 reads)


Republicans in U.S. Congress offere new ideas to pay for keeping student loan rates from doubling on July 1.



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