(House of Representatives - November 13, 2012)

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[Pages H6330-H6334]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(S. 1956) to prohibit operators of civil aircraft of the United States 
from participating in the European Union's emissions trading scheme, 
and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 1956

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

[[Page H6331]]


       This Act may be cited as the ``European Union Emissions 
     Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011''.

                   EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEME.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation shall 
     prohibit an operator of a civil aircraft of the United States 
     from participating in the emissions trading scheme 
     unilaterally established by the European Union in EU 
     Directive 2003/87/EC of October 13, 2003, as amended, in any 
     case in which the Secretary determines the prohibition to be, 
     and in a manner that is, in the public interest, taking into 
       (1) the impacts on U.S. consumers, U.S. carriers, and U.S. 
       (2) the impacts on the economic, energy, and environmental 
     security of the United States; and
       (3) the impacts on U.S. foreign relations, including 
     existing international commitments.
       (b) Public Hearing.--After determining that a prohibition 
     under this section may be in the public interest, the 
     Secretary must hold a public hearing at least 30 days before 
     imposing any prohibition.
       (c) Reassessment of Determination of Public Interest.--The 
       (1) may reassess a determination under subsection (a) that 
     a prohibition under that subsection is in the public interest 
     at any time after making such a determination; and
       (2) shall reassess such a determination after--
       (A) any amendment by the European Union to the EU Directive 
     referred to in subsection (a); or
       (B) the adoption of any international agreement pursuant to 
     section 3(1).
       (C) enactment of a public law or issuance of a final rule 
     after formal agency rulemaking, in the United State to 
     address aircraft emissions.


       (a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation, the 
     Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and 
     other appropriate officials of the United States Government--
       (1) should, as appropriate, use their authority to conduct 
     international negotiations, including using their authority 
     to conduct international negotiations to pursue a worldwide 
     approach to address aircraft emissions, including the 
     environmental impact of aircraft emissions; and
       (2) shall, as appropriate and except as provided in 
     subsection (b), take other actions under existing authorities 
     that are in the public interest necessary to hold operators 
     of civil aircraft of the United States harmless from the 
     emissions trading scheme referred to under section 2.
       (b) Exclusion of Payment of Taxes and Penalties.--Actions 
     taken under subsection (a)(2) may not include the obligation 
     or expenditure of any amounts in the Airport and Airway Trust 
     Fund established under section 9905 of the Internal Revenue 
     Code of 1986, or amounts otherwise made available to the 
     Department of Transportation or any other Federal agency 
     pursuant to appropriations Acts, for the payment of any tax 
     or penalty imposed on an operator of civil aircraft of the 
     United States pursuant to the emissions trading scheme 
     referred to under section 2.


       In this Act, the term ``civil aircraft of the United 
     States'' has the meaning given the term under section 
     40102(a) of title 49, United States Code.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Mica) and the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.

                             General Leave

  Mr. MICA. First of all, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous materials on S. 1956.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Thank you so much, Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, and welcome back. 
The Congress is back in session today, and I guess all people's 
property and welfare and everything else is now at risk. But I'm 
pleased to be here to help lessen some of that risk that is a threat 
which has been offered to the United States in the form of a European 
Union emissions trading scheme.
  The bill that I propose today is S. 1956, which replaces the bill 
that was passed a year ago in October of 2011, and that's H.R. 2594. 
That's legislation which I authored which basically does the same 
thing, again, giving the authority to prohibit the United States 
aircraft and operators of commercial aviation from participating in the 
European Union's emissions trading scheme.
  Let me take just a minute and explain what this is. Several years 
ago, the European Union and some of the folks that are honestly 
concerned about emissions that come from aviation, commercial aviation 
in particular, decided to come up with a scheme or a plan to impose a 
tax on all aircraft. Now, if this had been done within the confines of 
the European Union, I don't think we would be standing here. But what 
they did is really go beyond the borders of the European Union and say 
that any aircraft entering the European Union from another nation will 
be subject to an emissions tax--and not when it reached the borders of 
the European Union or their states, but from where it departed.
  So this would be, first of all, counter to international agreements. 
It is also a tax that they propose to impose on us that is unfair in 
every way, violates national agreements that we've had, and it 
unilaterally imposes this emissions trading scheme on all of the 
countries, including the United States. It would have a very damaging 
effect, first of all, because it does not do what it was set up for. 
The purpose of this was to try to limit or even compensate for 
emissions; and the scheme, as proposed, did neither.
  First of all, it would impose a tax on the airlines, which would be 
passed on to consumers, so we would have higher aviation taxes. 
Secondly, when they collected the money, the plan was flawed in that 
the money was not in fact directed to compensate for emissions. It was 
basically a money-and-tax grab by European powers and not really 
accomplishing it. So they put a nice title on it and imposed a tax--
again, unfair--against and in total violation of international law and 
U.S. sovereignty.
  So we have tried to work with the European Union. As the chair of the 
Transportation Committee, we led a meeting here in Washington with EU 
officials and sat down one floor below where I'm standing in March of 
2011 and tried to resolve the differences. We actually led a delegation 
and went to Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union; met in 
Brussels in June and July of 2011 and further discussed trying to come 
to some agreement to resolve differences on this matter.
  And then we took our case, as Members of the United States Congress, 
to the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is located in 
Montreal. That's the international civil aviation group that sets some 
of the policies and the standards for international and national 
aviation around the world. In fact, in October, a year ago, before we 
introduced this legislation, we convinced I believe it was some 27 or 
28 of the 35 of their governing body to vote in favor of a position we 
held, which other nations also held. And I think only a small minority 
of some of the European Union core nations, in fact, prevailed in that 
vote. So we succeeded in garnering international support because this 
isn't a tax that affects only the United States, but it affects 
countries around the world. So we had many international partners who 
said this is unfair, it's not properly crafted, and it lacked 
transparency and definition.

                              {time}  1710

  In fact, when we sat with the European Union counterparts, 
parliamentarian to parliamentarian, they could not define exactly what 
they were doing or how they were going to impose this. And I think 
they're still at a loss because they don't have it completely settled.
  So there is some good news on the horizon. Yesterday, the EU 
announced the postponement of imposing the Emissions Trading Scheme to 
international flights until 2014. Now, that's a temporary delay of 
imposition. They have said that they'd leave some of the decision up to 
ICAO, but ICAO does not set policy for the United States of America.
  We are a sovereign Nation, and we must, again, I think, defend the 
position, our position, our sovereignty and concurrence with 
international trade agreements that have previously been agreed on. 
We've got to hold people's feet to the fire and respect also U.S. 
  So that's how we have gotten ourselves into this fix. We have a 
temporary delay; maybe that's because of this legislation that's up 
today. But we

[[Page H6332]]

must move forward, I think, in giving the Secretary of Transportation 
and our officials the ability to thwart this kind of unfair tax imposed 
on our carriers, and that's exactly what this legislation does.
  We're not doing it by ourselves. We have dozens of other countries 
that expressed their opposition. So we join our colleagues, both 
Democrat and Republican, in the committee in bringing forward this 
bill. It is modeled after what the House passed in October of 2011. And 
by passing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that the Senate has 
now passed, we are notifying the European Union that we are not going 
to support the scheme and that, in fact, we want a positive outcome.
  We want a long-term solution, but we will not allow the United States 
to be held hostage. The European Union or any other nation or group of 
nations cannot hold us hostage on these tax and international flight 
  So we'll work with ICAO, and we'll continue to work with the European 
Union and others. And in the meantime, I ask my colleagues to support 
Senate bill 1956.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of S. 1956, a bill to protect America's airline 
workers, passengers, and airlines from an Emissions Trading Scheme by 
the European Union that flies in the face of the international 
  In my view, the EU's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme is 
inconsistent with international aviation law and practice. 
Additionally, airlines and labor groups oppose it because it will 
impose new and unjustified costs on the industry and destroy American 
jobs. Rather than solving a serious global problem, the Emissions 
Trading Scheme has created an international distraction.
  Along with 35 Democratic and Republican colleagues, I was pleased to 
cosponsor a similar bill last year. As I said when the House passed the 
bill, reducing the aviation emissions is a goal worth pursuing. I do 
not think anyone disagrees on that.
  But the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, when applied to U.S. airlines, 
is the wrong way to achieve the right objective. It goes against 
international law and agreements, and it brings the hand of European 
regulators into our own airspace. The EU's go-it-alone approach is not 
the way to find a global solution to a global problem.
  A large part of the international community rejects the EU's 
approach. The United States has joined more than 20 other countries in 
signing two declarations pointing out the many fatal flaws in the 
Emissions Trading Scheme, and calling on EU members to rejoin ongoing 
work within the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  European leaders appear to be getting the message. Just yesterday, EU 
officials announced a one-year suspension of ETS application to 
international flights as long as a global deal is reached. But Congress 
must enact this bill regardless, to send a strong message to the EU 
that whether the International Aviation Organization is able to act on 
the EU's timetable or not, the EU's unilateral scheme is not the proper 
way to solve a global problem.
  This bill will protect U.S. airlines and all those who rely on them 
for travel and employment from the unjust effects of the Emissions 
Trading Scheme. This bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the Emissions Trading 
Scheme if the Secretary finds that it is in the public interest.
  The bill also encourages the government to continue negotiating with 
the EU on a resolution, and it prohibits use of the Airport and 
Aviation Trust Fund, or any appropriated funds, to pay penalties to EU 
countries on behalf of airlines.
  It ensures that American taxpayers will not end up paying the bill 
for a counterproductive emissions scheme that causes more problems than 
it solves. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to yield 6 minutes at this point 
to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Petri), who chairs the Aviation 
Subcommittee in the House.
  Mr. PETRI. I thank my chairman.
  I rise in support of the bill before us, Senate bill 1956, the 
European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011.
  In January 2012, the European Union began to unilaterally apply its 
Emissions Trading Scheme to all civil aviation operators landing in or 
departing from one of the EU Member States.
  Just yesterday, the EU announced it was going to postpone the 
application of the Emissions Trading Scheme on international operators 
until 2014. Prior to that announcement, EU Member States would have 
required international air carriers and operators to pay for emission 
allowances and, in some cases, penalties for carbon emissions starting 
in April of next year.
  While this postponement is a good first step, it is not a total 
withdrawal of this illegal scheme, and therefore, we must press ahead 
with this bipartisan legislation to ensure U.S. operators and consumers 
are protected.
  The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is legally questionable in a number 
of ways. First, it applies to the entire length of the flight, 
including those parts of the flight outside the EU's airspace. For 
instance, if a flight leaves Los Angeles to London, taxes would be 
levied not just for the portion of the flight over the United Kingdom, 
but also for the portions of the flight over the United States, Canada, 
and international waters.
  The European Union's unilateral application of their emissions scheme 
to U.S. aviation operators without the consent of the United States 
Government raises significant legal concerns under international law, 
including violations of the Chicago Convention and the U.S.-EU Air 
Transport Agreement.
  There are also concerns that the Emissions Trading Scheme is nothing 
more than a revenue raiser for the EU Member States, as there is no 
requirement that EU Member States must use the funds for anything 
related to the reduction of emissions by the civil aviation sector.
  The EU Emissions Trading Scheme will take money from the airline 
industry that would otherwise be invested in NextGen technologies and 
the purchase of new aircraft, two proven methods for improving 
environmental performance and reducing emissions.
  Airlines for America, an air transport trade association, testified 
before our Aviation Subcommittee last year that the extraction of 
capital from the aviation system, as envisioned under the EU Emissions 
Trading Scheme, could threaten over 78,000 American jobs. This is 
  But despite serious legal issues and objections by the international 
community, the European Union is pressing ahead with its plans. In 
September 2011, 21 countries, including the United States, signed a 
joint declaration against the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in New Delhi, 
  In the last year, there have been several other multinational 
meetings of countries who oppose the scheme, including meetings that 
took place in Russia and in the United States.
  The bill before us directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in this illegal 
scheme. The bill also directs appropriate U.S. government officials to 
negotiate a worldwide approach to address aircraft emissions, and to 
take appropriate actions to hold U.S. civil operators harmless from the 
EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.

                              {time}  1720

  The EU needs to slow down and carefully weigh its decision to include 
international civil aviation in its emissions trading scheme. A better 
approach would be to work with the international civil aviation 
community through the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization to 
establish consensus-driven initiatives to reduce aviation emissions.
  I am pleased to see movement on the part of the EU to work with the 
international community at ICAO to seek a global approach to civil 
aviation emissions. While the postponement for a year is a positive 
sign, it is not enough to ensure U.S. operators will not be negatively 
impacted by the trading scheme at some point in the future. Therefore, 
we are moving forward with this bipartisan bill to ensure U.S. 
operators will not ever be subjected to the illegal European scheme.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan, bicameral 

[[Page H6333]]

  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 5 minutes to the 
distinguished ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).
  Mr. WAXMAN. Thank you very much for yielding to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the Thune bill.
  A warmer planet has less ice, higher sea levels, more water in the 
atmosphere, more powerful storms, more frequent floods, dryer droughts, 
and worse wildfires. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy brought a powerful 
and tragic reminder that the combination of sea level rise and more 
powerful storms can be deadly, devastating and extremely costly. 
Hurricane Sandy was only the latest and most dramatic in a series of 
extreme weather events. Over the past 2 years, we've had record-
breaking temperatures, the worst drought in 50 years, major floods, 
numerous tornadoes and thunderstorms, and vast wildfires.
  This is what global warming looks like, and if we continue to ignore 
it, it will soon look far worse. We should be doing all that we can to 
reduce carbon pollution and slow global warming, but the Thune bill, 
instead, tries to stop efforts to reduce carbon pollution.
  Specifically, the bill targets the European Union's requirement that 
airlines modestly reduce their carbon pollution. Aviation is a 
significant and fast-growing source of carbon pollution, and talks on 
an international agreement to control this pollution have languished 
for over a decade. So, since nothing was happening for 10 years, the 
European Union acted to require, for the price of only a few dollars a 
ticket--just a small fraction of the fee that the airlines impose on 
consumers just to pay for their bags going on the same airplane--that 
the amount of money be imposed unless the airlines can reduce the 
contribution to global warming.
  These environmental requirements are no more a violation of national 
sovereignty than the aviation safety and security requirements imposed 
overseas by the United States or the taxes on aviation imposed by other 
nations. Everyone, including the European Union, agrees it would be 
better to address this issue on aviation from a global basis rather 
than through regional requirements.
  Last week, international negotiations made progress on developing 
such an alternative to the EU requirements. In response, the European 
Union announced yesterday that it would delay the enforcement of the 
aviation requirements for a year in order to create a positive 
atmosphere and facilitate progress on global alternatives. That makes 
the Thune bill unnecessary. The airlines now do not have to comply with 
the EU requirements for at least a year and a half. The Thune bill is 
counterproductive. It would respond to the European Union's concession 
by enacting a retaliatory measure, which will undermine rather than 
advance progress towards an agreement.
  There are other serious problems with this bill. The bill directs the 
Secretary of Transportation, if he finds it in the public interest, to 
bar U.S. airlines from complying with the EU requirement to control 
carbon pollution. It also directs the Secretary to hold the U.S. 
airlines harmless from the requirements. If we bar the airlines from 
complying, they will incur steep penalties estimated at over $20 
billion by 2020. The Thune bill then says the government is going to 
have to hold the airlines harmless from this cost. That means that 
taxpayers may be on the hook for over $20 billion, although the bill 
also limits the use of appropriated funds. Or the hold harmless 
provision would force the Secretary to use existing authority to 
require European airlines to pay the fees to compensate the U.S. 
  Rather than doing something constructive about global warming, we are 
going to ignite a trade war with the Europeans. We ought to be working 
with them in an international context to do something rather than 
punish them if they punish us and have the taxpayers pay the bill 
because the Europeans have waited 10 years for an international 
agreement and nothing has happened.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. RAHALL. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Even if you oppose the EU aviation requirements, the 
Thune bill makes no sense. It's unnecessary and it's counterproductive, 
as the European Union just agreed to delay the requirements targeted by 
the bill. It also risks taxpayer dollars, threatens to provoke an 
international trade war, and jeopardizes U.S. national security.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this unnecessary and misguided bill.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, might I just inquire as to how much time 
remains on both sides?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 6\1/2\ minutes remaining. 
There are 11\1/2\ minutes remaining on the other side.
  Mr. MICA. I yield myself 2 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I have the greatest respect for Mr. Waxman and his 
leadership on many issues. Some of them we agree on--we're both art 
lovers and we both have great wives--but I have to disagree with him on 
a couple of points. First, I'd have to disagree with him on some of the 
climate statements that he made. I could spend the rest of the time 
debating that, but that's not what is before us.

  What is before us is legislation that actually gives the 
administration and the Secretary of Transportation the authority and 
also the discretion to work on this issue. If you don't have the 
backing of Congress, how can he negotiate? He wouldn't have the 
authority or the discretion to impose some difference with the European 
Union. You can't fold the United States' tent here.
  The other point that was made by Mr. Waxman was that we aren't 
working with them. Well, we hosted them right here. We sat and talked 
to them. Then we went to Brussels. We sat and talked to them. Then we 
went to Montreal with the ICAO, the International Civil Aviation 
Organization, which helped settle some of these matters and set the 
standards. When we left, they voted 26-36 to agree with the United 
States. So, in the international body, they were defeated.
  This does impose a penalty and a tax on the United States. It's 
unfair. If it's within the European Union, that may be within their 
discretion to do it, but not from the point of departure in the United 
States into the European Union or, for that matter, from any sovereign 
nation. The money doesn't go to clean it up. I know Mr. Waxman loves 
the environment--so do I--but this money doesn't go for that purpose. 
It can be used for anything. It's not for engine technology; it's not 
for the restoration of the environment; and it doesn't stop emissions.
  So this bill does represent a bipartisan, bicameral compromise, but 
it gives us the authority to hold their feet to the fire and get a 
  I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1730

  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman I'm going to yield to now may 
be departing the Congress after this session; but we will still value 
his professionalism, his expertise, and certainly his friendship for 
the very near and distant future.
  I'm happy to yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Costello), the once chairman and now ranking member of our Aviation 
Subcommittee on Transportation.
  Mr. COSTELLO. I thank the ranking member for yielding, and I thank 
him for his kind words and his friendship, as well.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1956, a bill that will protect 
U.S. airlines, their employees, and passengers from an overreaching law 
of the European Union that unfairly charges U.S. airlines for emissions 
in U.S. airspace on flights between the United States and Europe. The 
Obama administration has taken a strong stance against the EU's 
emission trading scheme on the grounds it is inconsistent with 
international aviation law and practice. Additionally, airlines and 
labor groups also oppose it because it will impose an unjustified cost 
on the industry and destroy American jobs.
  I'm pleased to note that just yesterday, as you heard already, the 
European leaders said that they would suspend application of the ETS to 
international flights for a year, pending a global agreement on 
international emissions at the U.N. International

[[Page H6334]]

Civil Aviation Organization, but that announcement in no way weakens 
the case for passing this bill. We must send a strong message to the EU 
that, regardless of whether ICAO delivers on a deal on the EU's 
timetable, the U.S. Government opposes the EU's unilateral local 
solution to a global problem.
  This bill is similar to the bill that passed the House last year, a 
bill that I was pleased to cosponsor, along with Chairman Mica, Ranking 
Member Rahall, Chairman Petri, and 32 other Democratic and Republican 
Members. Similar to the House bill, this bill calls upon the Department 
of Transportation to prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the 
emissions trading scheme. This bill further protects our national 
interest by ensuring that both airlines and U.S. taxpayers are held 
harmless from the emissions trading scheme.
  I congratulate my friends Senator Thune and Senator McCaskill for 
having championed this legislation in the other body. This bill sends a 
strong message from Congress that we do not support what the EU is 
doing for a variety of reasons.
  As I noted last year in our Aviation Subcommittee hearing on the 
emissions trading scheme, and again on the House floor when the House 
passed its own bill, climate change is a global problem that requires a 
global solution. Working through ICAO, the United States is committed 
to finding a global solution to address aviation emissions based on 
consensus. I'm optimistic that the global agreement can, in fact, be 
  More than 20 other international partners have joined the United 
States in producing strong declarations calling on the EU to come back 
to the table and to work on an international plan.
  At the same time, we must recognize that our own government and 
airlines are doing the right thing to reduce harmful carbon emissions. 
The FAA and the airline industry are investing billions of dollars in 
the NextGen air traffic upgrades, and the FAA plans to reduce emissions 
by 2 percent through these improvements. Further, U.S. airlines 
improved fuel efficiency by approximately 110 percent since 1978. From 
2000 to 2009, U.S. carriers reduced fuel burn and carbon emissions by 
15 percent while carrying 7 percent more passengers. NextGen will help 
aircraft operators save money and, in fact, save more than 1.4 billion 
gallons of fuel, cutting the carbon emissions by nearly 14 million tons 
by 2018.
  Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to support this legislation. I urge my 
colleagues to support it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, we don't have any further speakers on our 
side, and I reserve the balance of my time to close.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  In conclusion, let me again reiterate the support that this 
legislation has from the Air Line Pilots Association, the Airports 
Council International, the American Society of Travel Agents, the 
Transportation Trades Department, the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce, the U.S. Travel Association, and the Independent Pilots 
Association, among many other groups that have sent a ``dear 
colleague'' to all of us.
  To reiterate what I said in my opening comments, the European Union's 
ETS will do nothing to decrease aviation emissions. The solution to 
decreasing aviation emissions lies in an international agreement 
currently progressing through the International Civil Aviation 
Organization that is slated for consideration October 2013 at that 
body's triennial assembly.
  With that, I urge my colleagues to support the pending legislation 
and commend Chairman Mica and Subcommittee Chairman Petri and our 
Ranking Member Costello for all of the hard work that they have put 
into this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MICA. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, again I'd urge my colleagues to pass S. 1956.
  This does represent an honest effort to find a solution to deal with 
global emissions. They are a problem. We have tried to work with our 
European Union counterparts. Again, we've had meetings nonstop. When 
some of this issue began, we went there and talked. We took it to the 
international body of ICAO. They voted 26-36 to side with the United 
States' position; but sometimes in this business, you have to bring 
things to a head.
  We passed this legislation a year ago with bipartisan support--Mr. 
Costello, Mr. Rahall, our side of the aisle. It was a little bit 
tougher measure than what has come from the Senate. The Senate did give 
discretion to the DOT Secretary and the administration so that they had 
both the authority and also the discretion to act.
  I don't think yesterday that the European Union would have deferred 
to ICAO for a year if we hadn't pressed this; but we do need to bring 
folks together of goodwill, find a solution, something that is fair. 
And if we do want to clean up the environment and we want to have 
people pay a penalty for polluting, then we should ensure that that 
money goes back into cleaning up the pollution or at least developing 
the technology or offsetting the damage that's being done. The current 
scheme--and it is a scheme, which I have a definition of ``scheme'' 
here. A scheme is a systematic plan of action, a secret, or devious 
plan, a plot. That's not what we need to do here. We do need to work 
together, find a solution that's fair for sovereign nations and also 
accomplishes the laudable goal that we all set out to do.
  I'm glad I helped force the issue. I appreciate my colleagues joining 
in this effort, and I think this is a reasonable bipartisan, bicameral 
solution that will accomplish the goal we set out.
  Again, I ask my colleagues to vote in support of S. 1956, and I'm 
pleased to yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Whitfield). The question is on the 
motion offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the bill, S. 1956.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.