Top Lawmakers Discuss PFCs, PreCheck, Amtrak and Tourism
Alexandria, VA (April 30, 2015) —The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—the voice of the global business travel industry— held its 13th annual Legislative Symposium Tuesday and Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to oppose a proposed increase in the passenger facility charge (PFC), end the practice of managed inclusion in TSA PreCheck lanes and put a stop to discriminatory car rental taxes.
The Legislative Symposium kicked off with nearly back-to-back discussions with top lawmakers on key travel issues, ranging from PFCs to improving our nation’s transportation infrastructure to the important link between business travel and growth in our economy. Lawmakers and Administration speakers included Isabel Hill, Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office within the U.S. Department of Commerce, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Reps. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL),Lois Frankel (D-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), John Katko (R-NY) and Sam Graves (R-MO).
“With U.S. business travel spending expected to reach $295.7 billion in 2015, its clear that business travel is critical to today’s economy. We need the Obama Administration and lawmakers to adopt policies that support our business travelers and help our industry grow,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “I’m pleased to see so many members flying in to D.C. to advocate for our industry and share their stories with their elected representatives.”
Through the GBTA Legislative Symposium, business travel professionals have an opportunity to advocate for the future of the business travel industry and meet with lawmakers to share their opinions on key industry issues. The two-day event included educational sessions, Congressional speakers and more than 130 visits with Senators and Members of Congress.
Highlights of the Tuesday educational sessions included pledges from Rep. Diaz Balart to oppose any increase to the PFC and from Rep. Katko to introduce legislation that would put an end to managed inclusion in PreCheck lanes. “Managed inclusion defies the logic of what PreCheck is,” Katko told attendees.
Both Sen. Klobuchar and Hill discussed the importance of increasing international travel to the United States. Klobuchar added that her major focus — right now and over the last three years — has been speeding up travel visas to better facilitate travel to the United States. Hill told the audience: In an age where everything is online, there is still no substitute for face-to-face communications.
Rep. Denham shifted the conversation from air travel to trains, stating “We want Amtrak to work. We want Amtrak to be profitable.” The lawmaker shared his commitment to improving Amtrak, but noted it would take bipartisan cooperation.
Congresswoman Frankel, meanwhile, told the group that “there is nothing more important than having citizen lobbyists.” The Member of Congress challenged attendees – when they spoke to her colleagues on the Hill – to stress the importance of a modern transportation infrastructure.
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, gbta.org