The House yet again began considering an extensive series of proposed amendments this week that this time were targeted to the latest funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which if enacted as it currently stands would fund that federal agency through fiscal year 2028.
Among the proposed amendments put to a vote was a demand for aircraft companies to bring pilots back on the job who had been removed because of failing to comply with mandates related to COVID-19 vaccinations. Sponsored by Trump ally Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), the amendment was written to require “airlines to reinstate pilots who were fired or forced to resign because of vaccine mandates,” a summary said. Though some prominent Republicans have often tried to characterize their frustrations with past demands related to COVID-19 as representative of many Americans, nearly 300 members of the 435-member House voted against this proposal on Wednesday. The exact total was 294, with 83 Republican members joining those in opposition.
A single Democrat, Jared Golden of Maine, voted in favor of Miller’s proposal. Though this move was broadly rejected, the underlying bill does include some rules going forward around how airlines and authorities overseeing them can respond to COVID-19’s spread. If passed as it stands, mask mandates and demands for vaccines against the virus will be broadly prohibited in the future. Remaining, however, are Senate deliberations over this bill and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) recently passed by the House, so there could be significant revisions following the successes Republicans in office did see.
The House has also recently rejected notable amendments from members including Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) relating to the U.S. support for Ukraine amid the latter’s ongoing defense against Putin’s aggression. Both Republicans and allies of theirs have staked their opposition to that support from the U.S., but attempts during defense funding deliberations to see even an outright block on further security assistance from the United States for the Eastern European country failed.