Aviation

Budget Overhaul Proposals Likely to Stay in Play After Nov. 30
Joint Committee expected to offer recommendations next month

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., says that proposals that aren’t accepted by other lawmakers could work their way into future legislation. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The legislative proposals under development by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform could enjoy a life of their own after the special panel’s work is done later this year.

Members of the 16-member bicameral committee are hoping to agree on a package of proposed changes to improve the budget process by a Nov. 30 deadline, allowing their recommendations to be submitted to Congress for action.

Duncan Hunter Calls in Backup to Accuse Opponent of Being National Security Risk
Three retired generals who are lobbyists back up Hunter’s allegations against Campa-Najjar

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, imperiled by an indictment over campaign finance law allegations, has circulated a letter in the final weeks of his re-election campaign — signed by three retired generals — asserting his opponent presents a national security risk.

Critics say the letter doubles down on a racist line of attack based on Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar’s Arab heritage.

Bipartisan Opioids Bill Explained
Podcast, Episode 123

Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display in Norwich, Conn. (John Moore/Getty Images)

CQ Health reporter Sandhya Raman explains what's in the sweeping opioids bill that Congress cleared on Oct. 3 – just in time for lawmakers to campaign on the issue before the November midterm elections.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

Guilty headshots, crumb debates and George Washington’s face— watching the action on the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their points across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Senate Clears Big Aviation, Opioid Legislation Under Shadow of Brett Kavanaugh and FBI
Pending water resources deal could be last major legislative item before Election Day

A reauthorization of the FAA will be among the final pieces of big-ticket legislation to pass before Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s never-ending Supreme Court drama continued to overshadow a pair of bipartisan legislative wins — with at least one more expected before Election Day.

As senators awaited a supplemental report from the FBI about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they cleared for President Donald Trump a big bipartisan bundle of bills to combat the opioid scourge and a long-awaited reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

7 Ways Congress Might Make Your Next Airline Flight a Little Less Terrible
Full FAA reauthorization is the next legislation before the Senate

The Senate is debating a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration this week, and on the line might be efforts to make air travel better for passengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is getting ready to send to President Donald Trump a bipartisan reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration that might make the commercial flying experience just a little less awful.

“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, said when the deal was announced.

Kavanaugh Floor Vote Awaits FBI Investigation
FAA reauthorization on Senate agenda while chamber anticipates probe results

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., helped broker a deal to have the FBI look into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

With the House gone until after the midterm elections, and the threat of a government shutdown removed until December, the Senate has Washington to itself this week, with the debate over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh playing out as the FBI completes a “supplemental” background investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against the nominee. 

After last week’s blockbuster Senate Judiciary hearing featuring Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, and a dramatic vote on Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor, senators reached an agreement to delay a planned floor vote on the nomination to allow the FBI, acting under a directive from President Donald Trump, to complete the probe no later than Oct. 5. 

Senate Formally Begins Consideration of Kavanaugh Nomination, Pending FBI Investigation
GOP leaders also set up consideration of FAA measure for next week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Friday formally set in motion floor consideration of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

On the Senate floor Friday, and after a lengthy set of negotiations over next steps, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., began the formal process of considering the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

“We will shortly move to proceed to the Kavanaugh nomination,” McConnell said. “100 percent of the Republican Conference supports proceeding to the Kavanaugh nomination.”

Senate GOP Effort to Rebuke Trump on Trade Has Died a Quiet Death
Effort to assert tariff authority not included in FAA reauthorization bill

Sen. Bob Corker has little hope for his trade legislation. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bob Corker appears resigned to the fact that the Senate won’t be acting to rebut President Donald Trump on trade policy before voters go to the polls in November.

The Tennessee Republican had previously talked up the possibility of attaching legislation drafted with Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Patrick J. Toomey to a must-pass reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA Passage Likely, But Timing Unclear in Senate as Deadline Looms
The current Federal Aviation Administration authorization ends on Sunday

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told CQ that weekend work is possible if Senate can't get to FAA bill by Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even after lawmakers in both chambers took a major step toward a long-term Federal Aviation Administration authorization over the weekend, the path to enactment before a Sunday deadline remains uncertain as several other important votes jockey for floor time in the Senate.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on the five-year bill, which members of the House and Senate from both parties agreed to early Saturday morning, but the Senate schedule is less certain.