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Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I want to thank Chairman Mica and Ranking Member Rahall for their work in bringing the FAA bill to the floor; but I particularly want to thank Mr. Costello because, without his leadership and working this bill through for many years, we would not have a bill on the floor. The public really owes you a great debt of gratitude, and I want to thank you.

I think the aviation community deserves a long-term aviation bill so they can plan for the future needs of the traveling public. We have had 23 extensions already, and it's really time to send a bill to the President, but this is not a perfect bill. And I don't support the labor compromises in this bill, and I don't believe it should have been in the aviation bill in the first place; but our airports, airlines, and passengers have waited too long for these important safety provisions.

My home State of Florida relies on air service to support our tourist-based economy. We have 20 primary airports, 22 reliever airports, and 57 general aviation airports, with our top three airports generating close to 45 million enplanements per year. These airports help create jobs and grow the economy.

And I've really got to say that if we don't pass this, there probably will not be any opportunities for people to work in transportation, because the piece that we passed at 3 o'clock this morning out of the Transportation Committee is the worst bill I have seen in the 30 years I've been elected. I've been in transportation 10 years in the Florida house and close to 20 here, and it was truly the worst bill I have ever seen.

When people from California went into the bill and took almost $1 billion from the people from California, people from Houston took it, not only taking the safety of the public, I mean taking the transportation dollars and doing away with all of the regulations.

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. It is truly a sad day for transportation, and this will probably be our only work product because Members come to the floor, and they rail about the Senate. Well, let me tell you something. The Senate doesn't have to take up our bad work. In fact, this bill, this transportation bill, should be dead on arrival when it gets to the Senate.

I will do all I can to continue to work to put people to work and work for making sure that we have a transportation and infrastructure bill that will really put people to work; because we know, for every billion dollars we spend, it generates 44,000 jobs.

This is truly the worst bill I've ever seen.

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