House Passes FAA Bill With Several Provisions Congresswoman Bustos Included

Bipartisan Bustos proposals in Federal Aviation Bill include:

-Bringing Fairness to Federal Disaster Declarations
-Identifying workforce needs in the Aviation Maintenance Industry; and
-Updating Hiring Preference Rules to Include more Veterans


WASHINGTON – Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, a Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, voted for a bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration bill that she helped craft. This legislation includes several key priorities that Bustos has worked on over the last several years. The Bustos provisions in the FAA bill include:

  • The Disaster Declaration Improvement Act: During the tornado recovery in Pekin and East Peoria, it became abundantly clear that small communities in high population states, such as Illinois, are disadvantaged by FEMA’s disaster declaration process. That is why Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Rodney Davis worked across the aisle to develop a bill that will level the playing field for towns in downstate Illinois. This legislation passed in the House on its own last year, but has not moved ahead in the Senate. Bustos strongly supported including this language in the FAA bill as another means to get this long overdue legislation on the path to becoming law.
  • Building a skills pipeline to address workforce needs in the aviation maintenance industry: Bustos worked to include an amendment in the FAA package back in June of last year that would help address the skills gap by requiring a report on workforce needs in the aviation maintenance sector. This report will play an important role in supporting partnerships between community colleges and aviation maintenance companies in the communities they serve. This kind of public-private partnership has been exemplified by the partnership between AAR and Rock Valley College in Rockford where they are teaching students the skills they need to walk into a good-paying job.
  • Helping veterans transition to the workforce in the aviation industry: Our veterans have served our nation with distinction, and when they return home, we must all do our part to ensure they have the opportunity to live the American Dream. This is why Congresswoman Bustos included language in the FAA bill that updates veterans hiring preference rules to include veterans who have served in current Iraq operations as well as the Global War on Terror. Bustos’ Amendment to address this issue was included in a 2016 markup session.

“Congress works best when we can reach across the aisle and work together in a constructive manner to put hardworking families first,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “That’s why I am so proud to have included several of my key priorities in our bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. My amendments would help connect companies with the workers they need in places like Rockford while helping more veterans get good-paying jobs when they return home. I am also especially pleased that the bill includes our bipartisan bill that will make sure communities like East Peoria and Pekin aren’t victimized by the way FEMA decides which communities it will assist in the wake of disasters.

“Passing a long-term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization will give our airports, airlines and manufacturers the predictability they need to invest in our communities while also strengthening consumer protections. I am hopeful that in the remainder of 2018, we can continue working in a bipartisan fashion to address the multitude of issues facing hardworking families across Illinois and America.”