Senate faces bumpy skies ahead on FAA reauthorization amendments

The Senate faces turbulence Thursday on a bill that would reauthorize the FAA.

It cleared the first procedural hurdle Wednesday, but Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said more than 20 amendments — some germane and others not — have been filed.

The Republican whip doubted the Senate can land the plane this week and anticipated more action on the aviation bill and stack of amendments next week.

The Senate’s current task at hand is to work through that amendment roster, possibly coming to a time agreement that would allow votes on certain amendments. But that’s likely to face opposition over hotly contested amendments, including on flights at DCA, in the mix.

There’s some expectation that amendments pertaining tightly to aviation, airports and TSA have a much better chance of getting a vote. But senators see the FAA bill as one of the last chances for lawmakers to get their legislative priorities hitched to a must-pass bill, so the proposals aren’t all relevant.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has an eye on crypto and cannabis banking legislation potentially hitching a ride, but multiple Republicans said this week they won’t support those additions.

The deadline for the FAA reauthorization is May 10. The Senate is expected to leave town for the weekend Thursday afternoon.

House: Dozens of House lawmakers are headed to New Jersey on Thursday to pay respects and celebrate the life of the late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), who died last week. The House changed its schedule and scrapped Thursday votes to allow colleagues to honor Payne, who died at age 65 after a heart attack.

Payne lay in state in the Essex County Courthouse on Wednesday, and his funeral will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.