January 27, 2011 - Issue: Vol. 157, No. 12 — Daily Edition112th Congress (2011 - 2012) - 1st Session
FAA AUTHORIZATION BILL; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 12
(Senate - January 27, 2011)
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[Pages S347-S348] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] FAA AUTHORIZATION BILL Mr. REID. Mr. President, this legislation is the FAA authorization bill, which is extremely important. We have been trying to do this bill for years. I hope with what took place today, we can move to this bill and have a good debate on an extremely important piece of legislation. The vast majority of the Senate wants this to get done, Democrats and Republicans. This will greatly aid the Nation and the traveling public. This is such an important bill. We throw the words around ``jobs bill.'' This is a jobs bill. At the minimum, this bill will create more than 100,000 jobs. It will do it by investing in airport infrastructure and improving aviation technology in every State in the Nation. This is a conservative estimate as to how many jobs will be produced. The bill improves air service for rural communities such as those in Colorado that are struggling to have air transportation. I can remember Nevada, when there was good transportation in Ely and Elko, but now it is very difficult. You have to go to Utah first to get into Nevada. This bill will allow us to work toward changing things such as that. It also provides for a passenger bill of rights. How many times have people who are listening to us talk today been frustrated by what happens at an airport? We will not go into what has happened. We have all had those experiences. We now have the rights of a passenger that are laid out in this bill. So air travelers, if they are stranded, have certain rights--maybe a meal, maybe a refund of their ticket. It will be a bill of rights so you do not have to go beg people to talk to you as to what can happen or not happen. Frankly, it is better for the airline personnel that they will know what their rights are. People will have the ability to know what they have and will not be able to abuse, as they do sometimes, these airline employees. This legislation will help strengthen air safety. There will be enhanced oversight of air carriers, especially in foreign repair stations. We have heard some of the horror stories about these airplanes being repaired in places a long way from where they are used here in the United States, in foreign countries. [[Page S348]] The bill creates a modernized air system that will provide enormous industry and environmental benefits by reducing the rate of fuel burned as well as reducing noise and fuel emissions. This is a win-win for the American public. I can remember once I was stranded at an airport in Texas--Dallas. We were pulled up to the gate. Actually, we did not pull up to the gate. That was the problem--3\1/2\ hours waiting out there on that tarmac. There were people pretty upset about that. This legislation addresses situations such as that. So it is a good bill. It is a jobs bill. We have said we would move to a jobs bill. I have discussed this legislation with Senator McConnell. This is the time to have a debate. People can offer amendments. There will be no tree filled. This is the time for a good, old-fashioned Senate debate, something that will help the American people. Then we will send it to the House, and I think they will be able to finish it fairly quickly. ____________________