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Senate Proceeding on Apr 28th, 2008 :: 2:55:26 to 3:07:58
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John Rockefeller

2:55:26 to 2:55:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will call the roll of the senate. quorum call: | quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer:

John Rockefeller

2:55:26 to 3:07:58( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

2:55:35 to 2:55:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the senator from west virginia. a senator: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from west virginia is recognized. mr. rockefeller:

John Rockefeller

2:55:51 to 2:56:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: mr. president, i believe it is absolutely crucial and probable, perhaps, but crucial that we have a vibrant and strong aviation industry and aviation industry discussion on the floor of the senate.

John Rockefeller

2:56:07 to 2:56:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: not to put too fine a point on it, but the nation's economic well-being depends on the federal aviation administration. and the aviation industry. moving millions and millions of people and tons of cargo

John Rockefeller

2:56:23 to 2:56:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: every single day. i just landed at washington national airport and it was absolutely jammed and i'm trying to think of what it would be like in 10 years. even on the very best day the federal aviation

John Rockefeller

2:56:38 to 2:56:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: administration struggles to operate the most complex airspace system in the world. the job -- a job made harder by an extremely antiquated air traffic control system, which nobody else in the industrial

John Rockefeller

2:56:53 to 2:57:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: world has, but we have. it's like using an x-ray instead of an m.r.i. it's antiquated. it's pathetic. it wastes a lot of time. and it creates a lot of waiting for passengers. bad weather, mechanical

John Rockefeller

2:57:08 to 2:57:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: problems, lax oversight by the federalde administrators can end up in stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers and it has. increasing jet fuel costs and making it harder and harder for airlines

John Rockefeller

2:57:23 to 2:57:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to operate. and i particularly refer to legacy, that is, to the commercial airlines, which is the heart and soul of our system. all of this amounts to a perfect storm that can and very well may

John Rockefeller

2:57:45 to 2:58:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: wreck our aviation system. and aviation experts predict the situation is going to get much worse and very soon. by the year 20 15rbgs delays will become so bad that none of the one billion people predicted

John Rockefeller

2:58:01 to 2:58:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to fly that year will ever get to their destinations on time. more planes will be needed. and that will lead to greater congestion in the skies. a meltdown of the air traffic control system, and

John Rockefeller

2:58:17 to 2:58:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: it will put passenger safety at extreme sk. if the f.a.a. can't imagine that current situation, how can we expect to deal with the challenges of the future? clearly we need to take soaps start to

John Rockefeller

2:58:32 to 2:58:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: turn this situation around. we must be prepared to take bold action. and try a course toward modernizing our aviation system and improving passenger safety. again, i remind you we are far behind every other

John Rockefeller

2:58:50 to 2:59:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: industrial country in the world in our capacity. toward that end, the aviation investment and modernization act truly lives up to its name. it's called s. 1300. that will establish a road map for

John Rockefeller

2:59:06 to 2:59:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the implementation of the next generation of air traffic control system. that is, a g.p.s. digitalized instead of an log x-ray type of system that we have now. it will adequately and fund this system,

John Rockefeller

2:59:21 to 2:59:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: invest our nation's airport infrastructure and continue to improve small community access to the nation's aviation system. s. 13 is a product of compromises. not all of them pleasing to me. it's a

John Rockefeller

2:59:33 to 2:59:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: good bill that has been made stronger. and i have no doubt there will be further strength as it is considered by the full senate. in crafting this legislation, then senator lott and i, listened

John Rockefeller

2:59:43 to 2:59:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to the industry stakeholders. each had their own opinion on how best to improve the aviation infrastructure, which was basically -- basically based upon the premise that they didn't want to pay

John Rockefeller

2:59:58 to 3:00:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: anything more for anything.~ the one common theme from everyone from the urgent need to modernize our air traffic control system. in order to meet the growing surge of passengers and to deal with

John Rockefeller

3:00:14 to 3:00:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the enormous increase in general aviation, particularly high-end jet aircraft, i will have a lot more to say about that in the next few days. however, in recent months, that sense of urgency has been

John Rockefeller

3:00:27 to 3:00:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: replaced with a debate over who should pay and how much as we work through how best to fund the modernization of our air traffic control system. the far more critical point of just how severe the problem

John Rockefeller

3:00:40 to 3:01:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: has become, therefore, mr. president, has been lost. everybody's looking at how much they're going to have to do about this or do about that and the general situation of the crisis that we are facing

John Rockefeller

3:01:02 to 3:01:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: all cross this country is not being looked at. our air traffic control system relies on radio and radar to direct the hundreds of thousands of planes in the skies. it is a rel relic of the 1950's. and the

John Rockefeller

3:01:17 to 3:01:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: sad truth is the g.p.s. device in our cars or cell phones is more sew if sophisticated than the hardware used to guide passenger and cargo planes in the air that. should not make -- in the air.

John Rockefeller

3:01:28 to 3:01:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that should not make americans happy. in this senator's judgment, our air traffic control system is a national embarrassment. unfortunately, the administration does not share this view. they seem to be prepared

John Rockefeller

3:01:43 to 3:01:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to accept the status quo. more to the point, they don't seem to care and haven't shown up. before senator murray assumed control of the transportation appropriation subcommittee, the administration,

John Rockefeller

3:01:59 to 3:02:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: in fact, proposed a a $600 million cut to the f.a.a.'s -- and this is just a technical term -- but facilities and equipment act which funds the whole question of a new air traffic control system, a

John Rockefeller

3:02:13 to 3:02:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: digitalized, g.p.s.-based one. to reverse this course, s. 130 -- 1300 provides over $12 $12 billion to modernize the nation's air traffic control system, allowing the f.a.a. to meet the projected

John Rockefeller

3:02:30 to 3:02:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: increase in passengers over the next ten years. overthawcialtion will probably -- overall, this will probably cost between $40 billi and $60 billion in the long run. i believe s. 1300 lays the necessary

John Rockefeller

3:02:42 to 3:02:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: basis for the next-generation air traffic control system. we create a stable and guaranteed level of funding for f.a.a.'s capital investment account. that's what the current situation desperately needs. as

John Rockefeller

3:02:55 to 3:03:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: a result, passenger safety should improve, commerce will flow more efficiently, and air carrie will see their fuel costs reduced. i say that with my fingers crossed. what should not get lost in all

John Rockefeller

3:03:12 to 3:03:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: this talk about run aways -- about runways, about air traffic control systems and financing is the human element of air traffic traffic. united states aviation system is, in fact, the safest in the world.

John Rockefeller

3:03:27 to 3:03:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: but underneath those statistics lies lurking a lot of danger. but we have to stay vigilant if we want that record to continue. this act, called the "aim act," includes a number of provisions to improve

John Rockefeller

3:03:41 to 3:03:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: safety by providing the f.a.a. with resources to conduct thorough oversight of air care expwrers foreign repair -- carriers and foreign repair stations and upgrade the air safety infrastructure at our

John Rockefeller

3:03:57 to 3:04:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: existing airports. it's arcane stuff, mr. president, but at the heart of our commerce system. s. 1300 authorize approximately $65 billion for all of f.a.a.'s operations and programs and provides

John Rockefeller

3:04:10 to 3:04:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: approximately $16 billion for airport infrastructure grants to meet airport safety and capacity needs. the bill also reaffirms our commitment to rural america, and it increases the authorized funding level

John Rockefeller

3:04:23 to 3:04:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: for the essential air service program. most don't know what that is but those of us who live in rural areas know that we have no connection with the outside world without an essential air service

John Rockefeller

3:04:35 to 3:04:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: program. so at the we want to connect with the rest of the world, you have to have that. this bill extends the small community air service development program for four more years. well, what is that?

John Rockefeller

3:04:49 to 3:04:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i won't explain it fully now but this program has provided dozens of communities with the resources necessary to attract and retain air service. as the senator from w west virginia, i know how in--

John Rockefeller

3:04:58 to 3:05:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: west virginia, i know how incredibly crucial both of these programs are in keeping our rural communities connected with the national aviation s. we have to be a part of that blood -- i have aviation

John Rockefeller

3:05:09 to 3:05:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: system. we have to be a part that have blood flow or else we shrink up. without these importa subsidies, air carriers would have no incentive to operate in or out of the most rural parts of many states.

John Rockefeller

3:05:23 to 3:05:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: not just west virginia, not just iowa but texas, california, all kinds of places, new york. rural is everywhere. rural airports are everywhere. people should not be discriminated against because they

John Rockefeller

3:05:40 to 3:05:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: come from rural areas as opposed to an urban area. these two subsidies have made air -- essential air service in the air development program -- airport development program have made an incredible economic

John Rockefeller

3:05:52 to 3:06:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: on the -- impact on the economic development of west virginia. having flights that connect atlanta, dulles, even detroit has helped to attract the international investors to our states. for example,

John Rockefeller

3:06:07 to 3:06:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: toyota. it's absolutely essential moving forward that we raise the authorization level for these two programs so that people everywhere can continue flying and get to where they need to go. our bill strengthens

John Rockefeller

3:06:19 to 3:06:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: passenger protections by incorporating elements of the passenger bill of rights to deal with the most egregious flight delays and cancellations. for example, the industry would be required to provide

John Rockefeller

3:06:34 to 3:06:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: passengers with information regarding on-time arrivn-als and chronically delayed flights. aviation incorporates so many of the things that are so critical to us. it connects people to distant family members,

John Rockefeller

3:06:45 to 3:07:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: links businesses to businesses, joins the world, which has already shrunk, and allows people to easily interact on a global scale. it is still amazing to me to be able to board a plane one morning

John Rockefeller

3:07:00 to 3:07:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: in west virginia and to be halfway around the world that same day. what railroads and highways were to the 19th and 20th century, air transportation is to the 21st century. but i know that if we do

John Rockefeller

3:07:12 to 3:07:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: not make investments in our nation's aviation system now, then we will fall far behind the rest of the world. now, falling far behind the rest of the world is a relative term. i just want us to be good

John Rockefeller

3:07:33 to 3:07:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and safe. i want us to be good and safe. we are not now. on commercial airlines are just barely hanging on. barely 6789 barely. so i urge my colleagues to vote "yes" on the motion to to s. 130 1300, the

John Rockefeller

3:07:45 to 3:07:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: aviation and modernization act of 2008. i thank the presiding officer and yield the floor. mr. grassley: madam president? the presiding officer: the distinguished senator from iowa. a senator: madam president?

Chuck Grassley

3:07:58 to 3:08:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: mr. grassley: i have a unanimous consent request for -- that michael engle, a detailee of the commerce committee from the federal communications commission, john hannigan, a detailee to the commerce committee

Chuck Grassley

3:07:58 to 3:14:19( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

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