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The tech amendments filed to the FAA bill

May 7, 2024
Illustration of legislation being pierced with fountain pens.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Lawmakers are trying to shove all sorts of tech items into the FAA reauthorization bill.

The big picture: This is one of the last must-pass legislative vehicles before the election, and senators are hoping their tech policy priorities can hitch a ride.

Yes, but: The Senate is still working on a time agreement and figuring out what to do about amendments ahead of the Friday deadline.

  • House Speaker Mike Johnson has made it clear he does not want the bill to be a "Christmas tree" of items.
  • There's also talk that an FAA extension might be needed, given the swiftly approaching deadline.

Nevertheless, lawmakers are trying to toss in what they can. Here's a roundup of the tech-related amendments currently filed:

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley wants to expand prohibitions on facial recognition technology at airports.
  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn filed the Kids Online Safety Act, which would require platforms to change their designs and features for younger users, as an amendment on behalf of all of its sponsors.
  • Sens. Ed Markey and Bill Cassidy threw in COPPA 2.0, an update to existing online children's privacy protections.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz filed an amendment to speed reviews of semiconductor projects.
  • Sens. Peter Welch and J.D. Vance hope to see the Affordable Connectivity Program extended.
  • Sen. Brian Schatz plans to file his Kids Off Social Media act as an amendment.

Our thought bubble: There's a new urgency to move tech-related items —especially ones that have gotten close to the finish line before — so expect this kind of rush with every upcoming must-pass bill.

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