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Public Statements

Travel Promotion Act Of 2009 - Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, we are going through a travel and tourism bill. I know my leader is coming to say some words on the Senate floor, but I had a couple questions the authors of the bill have not answered satisfactorily. One is they create a new corporation for travel promotion and they create a new travel and advisory board, but there is already a travel and advisory board within the Commerce Department. There is nothing in this bill that eliminates this duplicative function that is already there. If, in fact, the intent of the bill is to promote, as they say it is, travel and tourism, one of the things we do not want to do is have duplicative agencies doing exactly the same thing, wasting the taxpayers' money. It is about $67 million that will go down the drain if, in fact, we do not eliminate the duplicative section of this bill.

The second point I would make is you are going to spend $12 million a year just on this one advisory board. The third point I will make refers to a letter from the European Union noticing that the visa fees we plan on placing with this bill will cause a negative reaction from them and a reciprocal institution of visa fees through the European Union.

I make those points and hope the authors of the bill will answer, for the American people, the $67 million waste in this bill that is going to occur if they do not eliminate programs that are already out there for which they are creating duplicate agencies.

I yield the floor and ask unanimous consent to have the letter printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD


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