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Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, THE JUDICIARY, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this bipartisan amendment, and it is bipartisan, Members on both sides of the aisle.

Congress has rejected, two times already, attempts to change foreign ownership and control requirements. Let us get it right this time. The Congress spoke in unison about the Dubai Ports deal, and they are speaking in unison today to stop this insanity of giving away our assets and having them controlled by foreign investors.

This is not to stop foreign investment. We must have a robust debate. This is a radical change. Altering the foreign control requirement for U.S. airlines does not belong in rulemaking, and that is what you are trying to do today. Being a member of both the Transportation and Homeland Security Committees gives me a unique perspective on the vital role the U.S. airline industry plays in the homeland security and the national defense of our Nation.

I am concerned that the proposed rule is unclear and does not guarantee that heads of security and safety would have complete autonomy from their foreign national leadership. It is no secret that security costs are one of the financial challenges facing our domestic industry. In fact, many additional security measures have been voluntarily undertaken by U.S. carriers.

I hope that both sides of the aisle support what I believe is a very reasonable amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Oberstar-LoBiondo-Poe Amendment prohibit to the use of funds in this bill to implement a proposed Transportation Department regulation that makes a profound change to federal aviation policy.

I would submit that it is actually a radical change. Altering the foreign control requirement for U.S. airlines does not belong in a rule m aking. We need robust debate--when we didn't have debate you saw what happen the Dubii Ports deal.

In their attempt to complete an Open Skies agreement, the administration has sought to avoid an open debate in the halls of Congress.

Congress has twice rejected attempts to change foreign ownership and control requirements. This time should be no different.

The proposed change is heavy-handed, too vague and leaves too many legitimate questions and concerns unanswered.

Being a member of both the Transportation and Homeland Security Committees gives me a unique perspective on the vital role the U.S. airline industry plays in the homeland security and national defense of our Nation.

For these reasons, unlike most other industries, airlines do not easily lend themselves to foreign control.

I am concerned that the proposed rule is unclear and does not guarantee that heads of security and safety would have complete autonomy from their foreign national leadership.

It is no secret that security costs are one of the financial challenges facing our domestic indu stry.

In fact, many additional security measures have been voluntarily undertaken by U.S. carriers.

But under foreign control, commercial interests may carry more weight when it comes to cutting costs.

Measured foreign investment may be beneficial for U.S. air carriers.

However, throwing open the floodgates to foreign control is not the answer.

At the very least, Congress should have a vigorous, robust debate on this highly sensitive matter before anything is finalized.

I am confident that most members, upon judicious review, will conclude that this proposed rule change, as it stands, is not in the best interest of our nation.

And I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the amendment.

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