Two Amendments by Congressman Garamendi Accepted into FAA Reauthorization Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC –Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City, CA), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced today that two of his amendments were unanimously accepted into the so-called Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act.
Garamendi’s first amendment would prevent the proposed private Air Traffic Control corporation from receiving any transfers from the taxpayer-funded Airport and Airway Trust Fund at any time. “The Airport and Airway Trust Fund is a $6.7 billion safeguard against economic downturns, and should not be raided to capitalize the privatization of Air Traffic Control,” said Garamendi. “The ATC Corporation should be on the hook for its own doings and should not get public support from taxpayers.”
The second amendment would require airlines to submit an Employee Assault and Prevention Plan to the FAA within 90 days of the law’s enactment. “It is never acceptable for airline customer service agents to be verbally and even physically assaulted simply for doing their jobs,” said Garamendi. “Last year, I successfully requested that the Department of Justice treat assaults on gate agents the same as assaults on any other airport safety worker, including TSA agents. But I believe that both airlines and unions should work together to develop a plan to both prevent and respond to these assaults in the future, and that’s what this amendment does.”
Despite these successes, Garamendi strongly opposes the final legislation because it privatizes the nation’s ATC system. It transfers tens of billions of dollars of public assets into private hands with no compensation and allows the resulting private corporation to impose taxes on Americans with no Congressional oversight.