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.

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