Text: H.R.7128 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/08/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 7128 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 7128

 To ensure the safety of air passengers and the public by authorizing 
States to implement reasonable guidelines and restrictions on passenger 
   air travel, to amend title 49, United States Code, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 8, 2020

   Mr. Case introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
             Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To ensure the safety of air passengers and the public by authorizing 
States to implement reasonable guidelines and restrictions on passenger 
   air travel, to amend title 49, United States Code, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Air Travel Public Health Emergency 
Protection Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Passenger air travel is or can be a major vector in the 
        spread of certain communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
            (2) Air passengers who have been infected by such 
        communicable diseases, especially during a declared national 
        public health emergency, present a serious public health risk 
        not only to their fellow passengers but to all who come in 
        contact with them at their destinations and upon their return.
            (3) Further, such air passengers present a serious negative 
        economic consequence to the airlines on which they fly and to 
        the destinations at which they arrive, especially destinations 
        reliant on the travel and tourism industry, as they destroy 
        public confidence in the health and safety of air travel and of 
        such destinations.
            (4) The best mechanism to address these negative 
        consequences during a declared national public health emergency 
        is for potential air passengers to be tested for symptoms of 
        the relevant communicable disease before boarding airlines and 
        to be denied boarding if such symptoms are indicated.
            (5) The Federal Aviation Administration has taken the 
        position that it does not have existing statutory authority to 
        impose a public health-related requirement on passenger 
        airlines that they test all potential air passengers for 
        symptoms of the relevant communicable disease before boarding 
        airlines and deny boarding if such symptoms are indicated, and 
        further that individual States are not authorized to impose 
        such requirements in the exercise of their police power to 
        protect the public health and foster economic and social 
        stability.
            (6) As a result, some States, in furtherance of those 
        goals, have been required to adopt far more risky and less 
        effective methods which consume scarce resources, including a 
        post-arrival self-policing quarantine which is widely 
        disregarded.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act shall be to authorize any State to impose 
reasonable public health-protective conditions on the boarding of any 
passenger on a passenger airline at the point of origin of a direct 
flight to such State during a public health emergency.

SEC. 4. PUBLIC HEALTH ACCOMMODATIONS.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator of the Federal Aviation 
Administration shall allow States, territories of the United States, 
and Indian Tribes to implement reasonable guidelines and restrictions 
to ensure the public health and safety of air passengers and the 
public.
    (b) Amendments to Title 49.--Title 49 of the United States Code is 
amended--
            (1) in section 40103--
                    (A) in subsection (a)(2) by striking ``A citizen'' 
                and inserting ``Except as provided in subsection (f), a 
                citizen''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(f) Public Health Emergency Exception.--During a public health 
emergency, the Administrator shall allow States, territories of the 
United States, and Indian Tribes to implement and enforce reasonable 
restrictions on air passengers at the point of origin of a direct 
flight to such State, territory, or Indian Tribe jurisdiction in 
accordance with requirements and restrictions determined by the State, 
territory, or Indian Tribe at the point of destination which may 
include, a temperature or other rapid check for any communicable 
disease which is the subject of the public health emergency, and which 
requirements and restrictions may include denial of boarding if such 
intended passenger is indicated for such disease. Such reasonable 
restrictions shall be implemented at the expense of the air carrier as 
determined necessary by a State, territory, or Indian Tribe.
    ``(g) Definitions.--For purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
            ``(1) Public health emergency.--The term `public health 
        emergency' means a declaration under section 319(a) of the 
        Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d(a)) related to a 
        communicable disease.
            ``(2) Reasonable restriction.--The term `reasonable 
        restriction' means any good faith restriction or condition 
        imposed or implemented on intended passengers prior to boarding 
        a plane by a State, territory of the United States, or Indian 
        Tribe to prevent the spread of a communicable disease during a 
        public health emergency.''; and
            (2) in section 47107 by adding at the end the following:
    ``(x) Waiver of Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding the requirements of this 
        section, during a public health emergency, the Secretary shall 
        waive any grant assurance that conflicts with a reasonable 
        restriction implemented by a State, territory, or Indian Tribe 
        as set forth in section 40103(f) without an airport owner or 
        operator submitting a request for such a waiver.
            ``(2) Definitions.--For purposes of this subsection, the 
        following definitions apply:
                    ``(A) Public health emergency.--The term `public 
                health emergency' means a declaration under section 
                319(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 
                247d(a)) related to a communicable disease.
                    ``(B) Reasonable restriction.--The term `reasonable 
                restriction' means any good faith restriction or 
                condition imposed or implemented on intended passengers 
                prior to boarding a plane by a State, territory of the 
                United States, or Indian Tribe to prevent the spread of 
                a communicable disease during a public health 
                emergency.''.
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