Senate Rejects Reducing FAA Budget to 2008 Levels

Senate Amendment 21, sponsored by Rand Paul (KY) would set FY 2011 spending levels by the FAA at FY 2008 levels. The budget for the FAA for FY 2011 is $12.953 billion, while the FAA budget in 2008 was $11.327 billion. The proposed budget is considered a reduction, as it imposes a 14.1 cent per gallon surtax on aviation fuel used by fractional ownership aircraft, and also increases the federal excise tax on all commercial aircraft fuel from 24.3 cents per gallon to 35.9 cents per gallon, a 47.7% increase. The anticipated increase in revenue to the FAA offsets increased budgetary allotments to it from the general fund, so they can say that it is a decrease in overall spending on paper. Without the increased taxes on consumers, the FAA budget would be approximately $1 billion more, or $14 billion.

The amendment was rejected on a strict party line vote, 51-47.

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