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A pair of Democrats is out with a bill this week aimed at making mortgages more accessible for potential homebuyers who speak limited English.

Senate braces for turbulence on FAA reauthorization

They’ll land the plane in the end, but it’ll be a bumpy ride.

That’s how senators see the next week and a half playing out as they try to pass a reauthorization bill for the FAA before the May 10 deadline.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune told us there are already as many as 20 requests for votes on amendments to the FAA bill, some of which aren’t directly related to the underlying legislation. That’s because senators see the measure as one of their final chances this year to pass long-stalled bipartisan legislation.

“This is, to use the oft-invoked analogy, one of the last trains leaving the station. And so everyone’s trying to get on board,” lamented Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who will manage the FAA bill for the GOP side.

Cruz, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, told us he supports a “robust” amendment process. But there are already serious problems emerging.

This is news: Late Tuesday night, the Senate Commerce Committee pulled all of the legislation it was supposed to consider during a markup this morning.

Some of that legislation — including a spectrum bill and a measure to limit children’s social media use — was supposed to be considered in the form of amendments to the FAA bill.

As we wrote in the AM edition Monday, Senate leaders are preparing for the possibility that they’ll have to grant votes on legislation that could hitch a ride to the FAA bill in exchange for passing it sooner. Under regular order, Senate leaders estimate there isn’t enough time to clear it unless all 100 senators agree to collapse time.

To that end, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said late Tuesday he won’t agree to speed up final passage unless the Senate votes on his legislation to reauthorize a compensation program for victims of nuclear radiation. That bill cleared the Senate in March but hasn’t received a House vote.

Senators are also expecting they’ll get to vote on the Kids’ Online Safety Act as part of the package. The bill has enough co-sponsors to overcome a filibuster, so it would almost certainly pass as an amendment to the FAA bill.

In addition, there are several contentious fights underway over provisions included in the base text of the FAA bill itself, most notably the proposed addition of flight slots at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Taken together, these disputes have the potential to trigger a lapse in the FAA’s authority. And remember, an amended bill would still need to pass the House.

“The challenge with non-germane amendments is, where do you draw the line?” Thune said. “If they’re germane to the bill — dealing with the FAA, TSA or airlines in some way, that makes some sense. How much of the unrelated stuff is considered, I think will be up to debate.”

— Andrew Desiderio

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.