DC Update: DHS Shake-Up Comes at a Critical Time

A biweekly report on government actions that could affect the remote-production industry

When Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly moved over to the White House last week to serve as chief of staff, the move happened at a critical moment when DHS is working to tighten security at airports around the globe. Given the three-month deadline for airlines to complete enhanced security plans in 280 airports, lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are urging President Trump to fill the top spot at DHS as quickly as possible.

DHS is under deadline for enhancing security at airports around the world.

Next week, the Senate begins its August recess. Because the healthcare debate consumed much of its time this summer, Congress will have a loaded agenda when it returns in September, with issues that affect the remote-production industry at the top of the list:

  • The House will have 12 legislative days to reauthorize the FAA when lawmakers return. It is still uncertain whether Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s efforts to privatize air-traffic control will make it into the final bill.
  • The Senate will take up its FAA bill in September and either pass the legislation, which would reauthorize the agency for four years, or pass a shorter-term extension. According to reports, the latter is looking more likely.
  • According to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, if Congress is able to pass a tax-code overhaul by November, it may move on an infrastructure package before the end of the year.

Thursday marked the 58-day countdown until DOT appropriations run out and FAA reauthorization expires. Highway and transit policy is up for renewal in 1,154 days.

With Congress in recess, the buzz around Washington will be quieter than usual. However, watch for updates coming out of the Executive branch.

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