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FAA Reauthorization Bill Heads to President’s Desk with Critical NH & National Security Priorities Secured by Shaheen

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Senate passed reauthorization legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The bill, which reauthorizes the FAA through September 2023, includes significant priorities for both New Hampshire and U.S. national security interests, championed by Senator Shaheen. The bill also reauthorizes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) through September 2021. The bill previously passed the House of Representatives and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

“I’m very pleased that this bill responds to important issues here at home in New Hampshire, and also makes serious progress on national security priorities,” said Shaheen. “In addition to reauthorizing the FAA and providing the certainty our regional airports need, this bill confronts specific transportation workforce challenges brought on by the opioid epidemic. And I’m particularly glad to see the bipartisan, bicameral support for my provision to establish a Syria Study Group that will bring outside experts together to finally develop a U.S. strategy in Syria, and pave a path forward to end the conflict. I urge the President to act expeditiously and quickly sign this bill into law.” 

Summary of New Hampshire and National Security Priorities Included in Final FAA Reauthorization Bill: 

Permanent Authorization of Transportation Workforce Program to Help Those Struggling With Substance Use Disorders

Senator Shaheen successfully included her legislation, the Transportation Workforce Recovery and Retention Act, which permanently authorizes the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS) program for airline pilots and continues support for the Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program (FADAP) to help rehabilitate those struggling with substance use disorders and successfully return to work. The transportation industry workforce has been particularly impacted by the opioid epidemic, since these jobs require such specialized training, experience and skills. Additionally, the Transportation Research Board will be required to study how programs similar to HIMS and FADAP could be created for other transportation workforces. Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation will boost investments in programs to help those impacted access the help they need to recover and return to work. 

Comprehensive Strategy to Confront the Syrian Conflict 

A member of both the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, Senator Shaheen fought to include her legislation to establish a Syria Study Group to recommend additional ways forward to address the Syrian conflict. Shaheen’s provision will establish a bipartisan panel to complete a comprehensive strategic review of America’s policy in Syria. Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to create a Syria Study Group, and previously passed this proposal through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year. Shaheen urged the leadership of the Senate State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee to move forward and establish a Syria Study Group. 

Increased Accountability Measures to Reduce Exposure to PFAS at Airports: 

Senator Shaheen also supported a provision to no longer require commercial aircraft manufacturers or airports to use firefighting foam with fluorinated chemicals, and to set a deadline of three years to phase out those that include per- andpolyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals. Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects of emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in water supplies. In addition to establishing and funding the PFAS health-impact study for FY2018, Shaheen worked to include an additional $10 million for the second year of the health-impact study, which she authorized in the FY2019 NDAA and appropriated in the defense funding legislation that was signed into law on Friday.

Last week, Senator Shaheen participated in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) Subcommittee hearing, where she questioned officials about federal efforts to address and respond to contamination from PFAS.