T&I Committee Advances Multiple Bills During Markup, Including Legislation to Prevent a Race to the Bottom in International Civil Aviation
Washington, DC - The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved a slate of measures during a committee markup today, including bipartisan legislation led by Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to preclude new foreign airlines from operating to and from the United States that exploit “flags of convenience” to avoid the regulations of their home countries, or otherwise undermine labor standards. The legislation is now ready for consideration on the House floor.
“As Americans start to travel again after the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure that any foreign airlines looking to serve U.S. markets play by the rules and don’t exploit the weaker labor laws of other countries to save money and unfairly get a leg up. I am proud that the committee passed my bipartisan bill—the Fair and Open Skies Act—to protect American jobs from predatory competition,” Chair DeFazio said. “The committee also approved several additional pieces of important legislation, including my bill to rename the Department of Transportation headquarters building in Washington, DC, after Secretary Norman Mineta, the longest serving Secretary of Transportation and a former Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as legislation to make it easier for survivors to promptly access critical FEMA assistance after natural disasters. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get these bills signed into law.”
Legislation approved today:
On May 11, 2021, Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Subcommittee on Aviation Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA), Committee Vice Chair Sharice Davids (D-KS), Aviation Subcommittee Vice Chair Conor Lamb (D-PA), and Representatives Kai Kahele (D-HI), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Jack Bergman (R-MI) introduced H.R. 3095, the “Fair and Open Skies Act.” This bipartisan legislation seeks to preclude new foreign airlines from operating to and from the United States when they exploit “flags of convenience” to avoid the regulations of their home countries, or otherwise undermine labor standards.
On February 25, 2021, Committee Vice Chair Sharice Davids (D-KS) introduced H.R. 1339, the “Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act.” Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA) is an original cosponsor of the bill. H.R. 1339 would establish an advanced air mobility (AAM) interagency working group at the U.S. Department of Transportation, comprised of federal departments and agencies, the public sector, civil aviation industry leaders, labor unions, and other relevant stakeholders to evaluate, plan, and coordinate efforts to help advance U.S. leadership in the emerging AAM industry.
H.R. 3193, introduced by Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) amends the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (P.L. 89−136) to create a high-speed broadband initiative and authorizes the Economic Development Administration to award grants for public-private partnerships and consortiums to carry out broadband projects.
H.R. 3037, as introduced by Rep. Espaillat (D-NY), will broaden the array of possible proof of residence documents required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for applicants for its Individuals and Households Program (IHP, Individual Assistance, or IA), making it easier for survivors to promptly access critical assistance after a storm. The bill also prohibits FEMA from requiring the notarization of disaster housing assistance applications, often a hurdle for vulnerable populations and a bottleneck in the processing of applications for assistance, and a hurdle to overcome when communities are in the initial stages of recovering from natural disasters.
H.R. 3709, introduced by John Katko, former Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Response, directs FEMA to establish Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) teams with an expertise in working with State, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as to report to Congress on the PDA process.
On July 26, 2021, Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced legislation to designate the Federal building located at 1200 New Jersey Ave Southeast in Washington, DC, as the “Norman Yoshio Mineta Federal Building.” Secretary Mineta was the longest serving Secretary of Transportation and has been a true trailblazer throughout his career. As the child of immigrants whose family suffered the grave injustice of being sent to an internment camp during World War II, he went on to a long life of public service. He was elected as Mayor of San Jose, California, spent 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives including two years as Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and served on the presidential cabinet of two presidents from different political parties—Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
H.R. 4660, to designate the Federal building and United States Courthouse located at 1125 Chapline Street in Wheeling, WV, as the “Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
H.R. 4460, introduced by Representative David McKinley (R-WV) on July 22, 2021, designates the Federal Building and United States Courthouse located at 1125 Chapline Street in Wheeling, West Virginia, as the "Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse."
On March 26, 2021, Representatives Michael Guest (R-MS), Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Greg Pence (R-IN) introduced H.R. 2220, “To amend title 40, United States Code, to modify the treatment of certain bargain-price options to purchase at less than fair market value, and for other purposes.” H.R. 2220 would allow GSA to exercise a bargain price purchase in a lease at a pre-negotiated discounted rate so long as GSA secures an appropriation to do so.
On July 21, 2021, Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV) and Daniel Webster (R-FL) introduced H. Con. Res. 41 to authorize the use of the Capitol Grounds for the 40th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service and the National Honor Guard and Pipe Band Exhibition.
Each fiscal year, the committee considers General Services Administration’s (GSA) Capital Investment and Leasing Program (CILP) resolutions. On July 28, 2021, the Committee considered 11 resolutions to authorize the construction, repair, and alteration of mechanical and electrical systems, structural systems, fire protection and life safety systems, and seismic deficiencies in buildings that house federal agencies and parking garages for federal employees.
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