Mr. HOLDEN. I thank my friend from Florida for yielding, and I rise in support of this bipartisan legislation.
This committee has just concluded meetings at the International Civil Aviation Organization. Of that organization, that commission, there are 36 votes; 26 of the voting nations have in writing expressed their disapproval of what the Europeans are approving. The only 10 countries in approval are eight European countries and Australia and Canada. We believe that this clearly violates article 1 of the Chicago Convention of 1944. Article 1 states that all signature countries to this agreement shall have control over their own airspace. If the European Union wants to put this scheme into place in the European Union, they're welcome to do that.
But they can't tell aircraft leaving O'Hare or Logan or Kennedy or Dulles that they're going to have to start paying taxes there. And the explanation from the European Union doesn't pass the laugh test. They say that the European Union member states are not responsible for a 1944 agreement because the European Union was not in existence in 1944. Their member States were in existence and they are signatories to the agreement and they are bound by it. If the European Union continues to move down this path, they know at ICAO that there are remedies. And they know that there are going to be remedies that are to be sought.
So I urge this body to pass this legislation today, and I even more so urge the Europeans to put this aside, come back to the ICAO organization--a vision that FDR had in 1944 to control international aviation--and have a global solution to this problem that we face.