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Senate Proceeding on Feb 7th, 2011 :: 2:01:05 to 2:17:30
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John McCain

2:00:54 to 2:01:14( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: through age 141, line 9, and insert the following -- mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent that further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. mr. president, we are celebrating president reagan's 100th birthday this past

John McCain

2:01:05 to 2:17:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John McCain

John McCain

2:01:15 to 2:01:37( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: weekend, and i quote from him on many occasions. he inspired many of us in many ways. president reagan once stated -- quote -- "government programs, once launched, never disappear. actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth."

John McCain

2:01:38 to 2:02:00( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: i don't know if president reagan ever observed the essential air service program, certainly, i think, fits his description. this amendment a $200 million government

John McCain

2:02:01 to 2:02:21( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: subsidy may not, may not be significant, $200 million in light of a $1.5 trillion deficit this year is probably not of money, but a lot of americans on november 2 said they wanted us to stop spending things that are not absolutely essential,

John McCain

2:02:22 to 2:02:43( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: although this program is called the essential air service, in my view it's far from essential. but the american people spoke on november 2. they said stop the spending, stop programs that are either unnecessary, have grown too much

John McCain

2:02:44 to 2:03:04( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: or unwise or even make some tough decisions. now, in this bill, we're not cutting essential air service. we're actually increasing it by some $200 million. now, my colleagues may be a bit confused by this -- this chart

John McCain

2:03:05 to 2:03:27( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: right here, but what it does, it shows -- and by the way, this chart came from the f.a.a. it shows that 99.95% of all americans, 99.95% of all americans live within 120 miles

John McCain

2:03:28 to 2:03:52( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: of a public airport that has more than 10,000 takeoffs and landings annually. so yes, there are some parts of america that represent the .5% of americans -- .05% of all

John McCain

2:03:53 to 2:04:14( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: americans who live outside of 120 miles from an airport that has 10,000 takeoffs and landings. all the watchdog organizations, citizens against government waste, the national taxpayers union, all of those organizations that watch what we do support this amendment.

John McCain

2:04:15 to 2:04:36( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: earlier this month, citizens against government waste, president tom shadd, said -- quote -- "the nonessential air service has outlived its youthfulness and is another reason why the country has a a $14 trillion national debt." now, a lot of americans will be watching the boat on this amendment.

John McCain

2:04:37 to 2:04:57( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: it's not the first amendment to try to cut back on spending, but it certainly is, in my view, very symbolic of whether we are serious. last week in the president's state of the union speech, he said -- quote -- "the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut

John McCain

2:04:58 to 2:05:19( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: excessive spending wherever we find it, in domesticspending, health care spending, spending through tax breaks and loopholes. as house budget committee chairman ryan has told many, there are no sacred cows when it comes to spending cuts." now, to put it bluntly, the essential air service is --

John McCain

2:05:20 to 2:05:40( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: quote -- "not essential." the program was created in 1978 when congress deregulated the airline industry and allowed market forces to determine the price, quantity and quality of service. deregulation allowed most airline carriers to focus their resources on profitable, high-density market. that's the way the market works.

John McCain

2:05:41 to 2:06:02( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: in response, congress established the essential air service to subsidize airline carriers that provide service to small communities at a loss because otherwise no sane business would serve a market at a loss. you know, again, as ronald reagan once eloquently stated,

John McCain

2:06:03 to 2:06:23( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them, and that's exactly what we did in 1978 by creating the essential air program. now, so many programs we've created, congress initially enacted the program was supposed to last ten years. it was only ten years that we

John McCain

2:06:24 to 2:06:45( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: enacted this program while markets adjusted and communities adjusted, and then 1996, of course, we removed the ten-year limit. like so many programs the government has created, it started with a few airline carriers in a few communities and now grown to subsidize almost a dozen airline carriers

John McCain

2:06:46 to 2:07:07( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: in over 100 communities. you governor enough communities, you get enough votes, you keep the program going, and then you increase the spending on the program. now, in this bill, increased costs of $200 million. again, not much, in comparison to a $1.5 trillion debt. $14 trillion deficit.

John McCain

2:07:08 to 2:07:29( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: $1.5 trillion deficit. $14 trillion debt, but it might be nice to start somewhere. like so many other government programs, the program was initially funded for several million dollars, now up to to $200 million. a july, 2009, government accountability office report questioned whether the e.a.s.

John McCain

2:07:30 to 2:07:50( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: program has outlived its youthfulness, stating -- quote -- "current conditions raise concerns about whether the program continue to operate as it has. the growth of air service especially by low-cost carriers, which today serve most u.s. hub airports weighed against the relatively high fares and

John McCain

2:07:51 to 2:08:11( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: inconvenience of essential air service flights, can lead people to bypass essential air service flights and drive to hub airports. so, as i mentioned, 99.95 3ers of --% of all americans live within 120 miles of public airports with more than 10,000

John McCain

2:08:12 to 2:08:32( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: takeoffs and landings. in other words, fairly large airports. so let me give you a good example of the kind of great expenditure of the taxpayers' dollars is. last year, "the wall street journal" published an article entitled -- quote -- "john

John McCain

2:08:33 to 2:08:53( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: murtha's airport for no one, which reported on an airport in pennsylvania that has received more than $1.3 million over the past few years under the essential air service program, and the article states -- quote -- " airports sees an average of fewer than 30 people per day. there is never a wait for

John McCain

2:08:54 to 2:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: security. you can park for me almost right outside the gate. you are almost guaranteed a row to yourself on any flight." the article continues -- quote -- "tickets to fly to johnstown are expensive, even though every passenger flying out of john murtha airport has a $100 subsidy behind the ticket, courtesy of the federal

John McCain

2:09:15 to 2:09:35( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: essential air service program which provides support to struggling airports." so far, it's gotten $150 million of payments for what is, i quote from the article, called the airport for no one.

John McCain

2:09:36 to 2:09:57( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: there are a total of 18 flights per week, all of which go to dulles airport in washington, d.c. the author goes on to say, "i was visiting the airport from washington, but because flights cost a pricily $400, i drove. the drive took less than three and a half hours and cost about

John McCain

2:09:58 to 2:10:19( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: about $35 in gas, not to mention that it was arguably faster than flying, and this isn't a remote area of the state. murtha sairpt less than two hours from the pittsburgh airport. the airport has an $8.5 million taxpayer-funded radar system that has never been used.

John McCain

2:10:20 to 2:10:41( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: the runway was paved with reinforced concrete at a cost of more than $700 million. the latest investment was was $800,000 from the the $787 billion american recovery and reinvestment act to repave half of the secondary runway. never mind that the first one is hardly ever in use.

John McCain

2:10:42 to 2:11:02( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: well, the list goes on and on. that's just an example. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to have the article entitled -- in "the wall street journal" entitled "john murtha's airport for no one." the los angeles times article entitled "planes to nowhere."

John McCain

2:11:03 to 2:11:25( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: congress plans to increase airline subsidies. "the seattle times" article entitled "rural subsidies test resolve to cut spending." the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: so a los angeles times article entitled -- quote -- "planes to nowhere" stated in 2008, according to senate appropriations committee data,

John McCain

2:11:26 to 2:11:46( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: great lakes airlines received a subsidy of about $1.8 million for the 414 passengers it flew to and from eely, nevada, which is about a four-hour drive to las vegas. this amounts to $4,500

John McCain

2:11:47 to 2:12:08( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: per-person subsidy. since the program requires companies to offer at least two round trips most days, some subsidized flights were almost certainly empty. so it says -- the article says "eely is the beneficiary of

John McCain

2:12:09 to 2:12:33( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: essential air service program established in the 1970's after airline deregulation," et cetera, et cetera. the program costs vary widely in differences of ridership. one saw a per-passenger subsidy of $2,000 for each of the 418

John McCain

2:12:34 to 2:12:54( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: people who flew last year. the 23,581 passengers using the airport in manhattan, kansas, only cost the government $50.82 each. steve ellis, vice president of the watchdog group taxpayers for common sense said the program -- quote -- "was supposed to go away over a period of time as we

John McCain

2:12:55 to 2:13:15( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: made the transition from deregulation. congress made sure it hasn't." so -- and then, of course, i mentioned the seattle times article entitled "rural air subsidies test resolved to cut spending."

John McCain

2:13:16 to 2:13:37( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: a program that subsidizes air service to small airports often in remote communities is shaping up as an early test in the new congress of conservative zeal for shrinking the federal government. it goes on to say, "a program that subsidizes air service to small airports often in remote communities is shaping up as an early test in the new congress

John McCain

2:13:38 to 2:14:00( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: of conservative zeal for shrinking the federal government. subsidies for airline passengers as of june 1, 2010, ranged as high as $5,223 in eely, nevada, as lee as $9.21 in they have river falls, minnesota, according to transportation

John McCain

2:14:01 to 2:14:22( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: department data for the lower 48 states. but critics say the airports often serve too few people to merit the amount of money spent in subsidies. urban growth over the past three decades has also placed transportation alternatives, other airports, trains and bus service, within a reasonable distance of some communities receiving subsidies.

John McCain

2:14:23 to 2:14:43( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: studies show that in a lot of those communities, people drive to larger airports to get better service at a lower cost than they can get at the smaller airport, even with subsidized air service, "said severen borenstein, university of california-berkeley business

John McCain

2:14:44 to 2:15:05( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: professor who is an expert on airline competition. some communities claim they need the service, particularly in alaska, but i think these are a relatively small pafrt program, he said. the program has been remarkably resilient partly due to the protection it receives from lawmakers in rural states and districts.

John McCain

2:15:06 to 2:15:26( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: it has been proposed for cuts and eliminations many times over the years but continues to grow. that's exactly in the political sweet spot, borenstein said. lawmakers tkoepblt feel it's -- don't feel it's worth upsetting

John McCain

2:15:27 to 2:15:48( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: a few people for the moderate savings in budget terms. i understand -- i received a letter from four senators that stated eliminating the program will have a devastating impact on the economies of rural communities. i quote from the letter i received from four senators --

John McCain

2:15:49 to 2:16:09( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and i repeat -- "eliminating the program will have a devastating impact on the economies of rural communities." i believe the real devastation to rural communities, big communities, small communities, medium-size communities, if we don't stop mortgaging our children and grandchildren's futures, if we don't stop doing

John McCain

2:16:10 to 2:16:31( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: things that are unnecessary th-fplt program was put into being in 1978, was supposed to be there for ten years, was a few million dollars and now according to to this bill is going to be billions of dollars. it's about time we match our rhetoric with our votes.

John McCain

2:16:32 to 2:16:54( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: i believe that this will be a very interesting vote that we'll be taking on this amendment. i'd again point out to my colleagues all of these red dots are people that are served by large and major airports. and there are some areas of the country that are not.

John McCain

2:16:55 to 2:17:15( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: you will find most of these are very sparsely populated areas of our country. so, i hope that my colleagues will vote in favor of eliminating this program that was designed for ten years of life and now has continued on

John McCain

2:17:16 to 2:17:30( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: for some 30 years. and like ronald reagan said, they are the hardest thing in the world to either reduce or eliminate. mr. president, i ask for the yeas and nays on the amendment.

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