Thursday, April 18, 2024

Rep. Schrier manages to keep landmark aviation legislation supporting veterans in FAA Reauthorization Bill

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On July 20, U.S. Representative Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) voted for the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years.

This bipartisan compromise is important for Washington state and for the country to keep our planes running and our airplanes and airports safe. Provisions of her bipartisan bill, the American Aviator Act, were included in the reauthorization to authorize competitive grants supporting flight-training services to Veterans.  

“Veterans devoted their lives to protecting our country, and it’s our responsibility to make sure nothing is impeding them from receiving the best opportunities after fighting bravely for our country,” said Rep. Schrier. “That includes supporting their transition into new careers. This bill will remove barriers to the aviation industry that Veterans face, including covering costs beyond what is available through Veteran education benefits, and I am proud that provisions of my bill made it into this reauthorization. This reauthorization is by no means perfect, but aviation is a landmark industry in Washington State, and I will always go to bat for the people of the Eighth District. I look forward to conferencing with Senate to secure this huge win for Veterans and the aviation industry.”

The American Aviator Act was introduced by Representatives Schrier (D-WA), Armstrong (R-ND), Strickland (D-WA), and Kiggans (R-VA). “Our Veterans pledged to defend our nation and it’s our duty to make sure they have the ability to achieve successful careers after completing their service,” said Rep. Armstrong. “This bill will not only aid Veterans in finding employment as commercial pilots but help fill a critical need in our country’s workforce.”

“The American Aviator Act will make it easier for military Veterans to become commercial pilots and help improve our aviation industry," said Rep. Strickland. "When our Veterans succeed, America succeeds, and I urge my colleagues to pass this bill to support our nation's heroes and address our pilot shortage."

"As a former Navy helicopter pilot and wife of a former Navy F/A-18 pilot, I’m proud to co-lead the American Aviator Act,” said Rep. Kiggans. “Not only will this bill be beneficial to the commercial airline industry, it will also offer options to our Veterans who are interested in pursuing careers in aviation after their military service is complete. Being a pilot was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had - I’m happy that many of my fellow Veterans will now have that opportunity.”

The House passed the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at a vote of 351 to 69.

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