The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Thursday, June 29th at 9:00 a.m. in Dirksen G50 to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
1. S. 1405, Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
2. S. 875, To require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study and submit a report on filing requirements under the Universal Service Fund programs, Sponsor: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
3. S. 1426, United States Center for Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
4. S. 1393, Jobs for Our Heroes Act, Sponsors: Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
5. Nomination of Vice Admiral David P. Pekoske, of Maryland, to be Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration
6. Nomination of Robert L. Sumwalt III, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board
7. Nomination of Derek Kan, of California, to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy
*Agenda subject to change
Results of the markup are available here.
Executive Session Details:
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building G50
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.
Chairman John Thune
Good morning and welcome. Today we are going to be considering a number of well-qualified nominations and important legislative measures, including the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2017, which I introduced with Senators Nelson, Blunt, and Cantwell.
This bipartisan, four-year bill would authorize funding for the FAA and take many steps to enhance safety and improve the flying experience for American travelers.
While most of this proposal is based on last year’s Commerce Committee bill, which ultimately passed the Senate by a vote of 95 to three, we have not been resting on last year’s laurels. The bill we will consider today contains many improvements to the 2016 bill and new provisions that respond to issues that have arisen in the last year.
This legislation would address safety and privacy concerns related to drones, improve the aircraft certification process, increase consumer protections and aviation access, make critical safety improvements, and address general aviation safety and pilot protection issues.
This bill also would significantly increase funding under the Airport Improvement Program without raising taxes.
Some have noted that this legislation does not include major reforms to the air traffic control system, as have been proposed by Chairman Shuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and, more recently, the President.
To be clear, I remain open-minded about the idea of moving the FAA’s ATC function into a not-for-profit, non-governmental body, but I also appreciate that sincerely-held concerns exist. So, I hope – and expect – that we will consider this proposal more fully as the bill advances beyond the Committee.
In addition to the FAA Reauthorization, we are also considering a handful of other important measures and nominations. For example, the bipartisan Jobs for Our Heroes Act will build upon the good work of the FAST Act, by making it easier for both current and former members of the armed services to move into civilian driving careers.
I am also proud to say that we are considering Senators Nelson, Moran, and my U.S. Center for SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017, which would address the issue of sexual abuse within the United States Olympic movement.
This legislation includes unambiguous language clarifying that it is the responsibility of our Olympic leaders to provide an environment that is free from abuse.
It is my hope that we will be able to combine this legislation with the good work Senators Feinstein and Grassley have also been doing on this topic in the Judiciary Committee when both bills move to the floor.
Finally, I’d like to say just a word about the three nominees on today’s agenda. I am particularly pleased that we will be approving the nomination of Admiral David Pekoske to lead the Transportation Security Administration. We are fortunate that a leader of his caliber is willing to continue his public service to our nation.
I also look forward to supporting the nominations of Derek Kan, an alum of the Senate family slated to fill the number three spot at DOT, and Robert Sumwalt, an experienced member of the NTSB.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.