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Top Senate Republican warns of tough negotiations ahead on bipartisan FAA deal

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The bipartisan FAA deal is one of the last must-pass bills before the election, a final opportunity for lawmakers to attach their legislative priorities. And that’s making negotiations on the package a lot tougher, warned Senate Minority Whip John Thune.

“There’s a lot of non-germane stuff that people want to put on this,” Thune, a member of the Commerce Committee, said on Tuesday. “Once you go down that path, then everybody wants their non-germane amendment too. If it deals with FAA or TSA or airlines, then I assume there’s going to be a path forward.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is eyeing using the FAA bill to also force through a cannabis banking bill and crypto legislation. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said adding the cannabis bill won’t make the cut: “Not if you want to pass it.”

There will undoubtedly be other efforts to push legislative priorities onto the bill and its impending May 10 deadline. With shorter than usual sessions this week and next, Senate negotiations are likely to extend into next week, Thune said.