When Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess next week, supporters in both the House and the Senate expect the bills to protect Chicago's Meigs Field, expand O'Hare International, and create a new airport in Peotone, Illinois, to move forward more quickly.
AOPA Legislative Affairs continues to work closely with Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.), sponsors of the Senate and House versions respectively, to pass the measure. AOPA President Phil Boyer calls the legislation "critical to the survival of Meigs Field. We're committed to seeing it through."
In the Senate, Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) responded to more than 60 senators who signed a letter calling for a vote on the legislation, saying that he intends to bring it to the floor for a vote. The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), has threatened a filibuster, but supporters hope the 60-plus signatures on the letter to Daschle, more than enough to end a filibuster, will dissuade Fitzgerald.
The House version of the bill has been referred to the Transportation Committee. With 110 cosponsors, Lipinski expects the legislation will make it out of the committee for action by the full House.