Airport security package gets thumbs-up from Senate

By Martine Powers with help from Heather Caygle, Lauren Gardner, Annie Snider, and Esther Whieldon, Politico.

04/08/16 - MOVING RIGHT ALONG: Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey’s proposal for secondary cockpit barriers got a quick thumbs-up from the Senate on Thursday, along with a few other smaller items, just before a three-day pause in the action. There's still plenty of work left on the FAA reauthorization bill for next week — a slew of amendments, a bipartisan agreement on an energy tax package — but Sen. John Thune seemed pleased with the bill’s progress so far. “We think it’s a good start,” he told reporters on Thursday afternoon.

NOW HERE’S THE REAL QUESTION: If the Senate’s FAA bill (H.R. 636) is proceeding all hunky-dory, with a bundle of anti-terrorism security provisions to boot, will that be an impetus for the folks on the House side to pass aviation reauthorization, even without air traffic control privatization? “I think the House is probably going to want to act,” Thune said, when asked this question by our own Heather Caygle. “And I think all the good policy that has been included in this bill with respect to security will make it more attractive for them to act, and hopefully they will — irrespective of how that issue gets resolved or sorted out out there — move something that will incorporate a lot of these provisions or similar provisions that we could actually get to the president."