On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, H.R. 302, introduced by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Ohio). This bill provides no meaningful reforms and contains language that could threaten the civil liberties of American citizens.
Embedded in H.R. 302 is a provision that essentially gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) free rein to shoot down civilian drones that they deem to be a “credible threat.” Of course, this bill vaguely defines “credible threat” and allows the government to intercept photo, video, or any other data on the drone. This opens the door to sweeping new surveillance authority for the U.S. government, circumventing the Fourth Amendment. This section of the bill does not pass the constitutional test, and should be rejected by any member seeking to honor his or her oath to support and defend the Constitution.
H.R. 302 misses a key opportunity for reform by failing to include the modernization of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. Modernization of the ATC was supposed to be included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2003, but failure to do so has resulted in more delays and higher costs for American consumers. Transferring control of ATC from the government to a non-profit corporation would have had profound effects on our economy. In Canada, a similar reform led to a 45 percent reduction in user fees. An FAA Reauthorization bill should not be passed without this key measure included.
Unfortunately, this bill follows a disturbing trend of introducing legislation that members could not possibly read, or understand. H.R. 302 is a gargantuan 1,200 pages in length, and was introduced this Saturday, only four days before the scheduled vote. Bills of this magnitude should be thoughtfully considered and debated by all members of the House. Sadly, leadership proves time and time again that they have no interest in pursuing a transparent process. H.R. 302 is just one glowing example of this trend.
FreedomWorks will count the vote for the FAA Reauthorization Act, H.R. 302, on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.