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Public Statements

FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chair, I come to the floor to speak about basic notions of fairness and democracy.

As a former member of the House Transportation Committee, let me acknowledge that I understand the importance of a strong and robust FAA Reauthorization Bill. Historically, it has been our shared goal of modernizing our system, expanding capacity, and putting people to work. Unfortunately, by nickel and diming the system, the bill on the floor today falls short of achieving these important goals.

Furthermore, today's bill contains a poison pill for those Americans working hard on our airways and railways that would change the method of counting votes in a union election.

Last year, the National Mediation Board rightly decided that union elections for workers in the airline and rail industries would be counted just as we count every other vote, whether for President, Congress or even when voting on legislation here in the House of Representatives.

It's simple: if you show up and vote ``yes,'' it's a yes. If you show up and vote ``no,'' it's a no.

But this legislation would repeal the ruling of the NMB and count ghost votes, because if you do not show up, you're considered a ``no.''

We cannot continue to attack hard working employees across this country for political purposes. I urge my colleagues to support the LaTourette/Costello Amendment to strike this misguided section of the bill and preserve fairness in union elections.

I am also happy that my friend, Mr. LOBIONDO's amendment for the NextGen Center of Excellence was agreed to. I have been with my colleague from south Jersey to the FAA Tech Center and know that it does a fantastic job. Supporting these employees also means providing the best training possible, which in turn will make our skies safer and the flow of commerce better.

Finally, I would like to stand with the families of the victims of Flight 3407, and oppose the amendment from my friend Mr. SHUSTER. We need to stand behind the law we passed last year to improve safety standards, and continue to demand one strong level of safety for the entire aviation industry.

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