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Senate Proceeding on Jun 16th, 2009 :: 2:14:50 to 2:28:00
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Amy Klobuchar

2:14:50 to 2:28:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

2:14:59 to 2:15:19( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: quorum call: a senator: the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. msklobuchar: madam president, i ask that the quorum call vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: madam president, during these tough economic mes, american families expect and deserve that we will do everything we can to get the economy moving again. and of course, that involves investing in our country, investing in our

Amy Klobuchar

2:15:20 to 2:15:41( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: involves getting our financial system in order, involves getting the credit moving again. but we should not forget that one out of eight americans is employed in the travel industry. i chair the subcommittee of commerce that dea with tourism issues and i've cosponsored the bipartisan legislation to bring new visitors and new

Amy Klobuchar

2:15:42 to 2:16:03( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: and new jobs to the united states. i want to thank senator byron dorgan for his leadership and hard work on this bill and i also want to thank senator ensign for his leadership. i spoke last weekhen we first started talking about this bill about the importance of the tourism and travel industry to our economy. tourism creates good jobs that

Amy Klobuchar

2:16:04 to 2:16:27( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: can't be outsourced. it increases sales for local businesses and it brings in tax revenue for economies. as i sai one out eight americans is employed by our travel economy. each year, travel and tourism contribute approximately $1.3 trillion to the american economy.

Amy Klobuchar

2:16:28 to 2:16:49( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the travel economy contributes $115 billion in tax revenue state and and last year, travel and tourism exports, which means the people coming into our country to enjoy our beautiful country, that accounted for 8% of all u.s. exports. in fact, tourism madam president, is one of the

Amy Klobuchar

2:16:50 to 2:17:10( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: few economic sectors where we enjoy a surplus. but things are not going as well as they could or they should, especially when it comes to bringing international travel to the united states. i know you know that, madam president, coming from the state of new york.

Amy Klobuchar

2:17:11 to 2:17:31( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: i see the senator from michigan here with their recent ad campaign enjoying pure michigan. but we need to bring more people people, more people to this country. now, what does this mean, what's the problem then? well, as you can see, more pe traveling. there were8 million more

Amy Klobuchar

2:17:32 to 2:17:52( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: global overseas travelers in 2008 than there were i 2000. 633,000 fewer visited the united states. now, that's unfortunate. you can see more people around the world are traveling but less are coming to our country. and what does that really mean?

Amy Klobuchar

2:17:53 to 2:18:14( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: well, since 2000, the u.s. share of the world travel market has decreased by nearly 20%, costing us hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. so you here in our country. this is in millions of dollars. $26 million brought in in 2000.

Amy Klobuchar

2:18:15 to 2:18:35( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: only $25.3 million in 20 2008, while the rest of the world, $124 million for the rest of the world, $173 million -- up to $173 million in 2008. when a traveler decides to visit another country, to visit someplace besides the u.s., there's a ripple affect across our economy.

Amy Klobuchar

2:18:36 to 2:18:56( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: fewer airline tickets are sold, fewer cars are rented, and lodges rent fewer rooms, tourist attractions have fewer visitors, local businesses miss out on sales and opportuniti, workers lose their jobs and it goes on and on and on. the decline in international travel combined with the current economic downturn is hitting our

Amy Klobuchar

2:18:57 to 2:19:18( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: country's travel industry hard. last year, nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost and the commerce department predicts that we'll lose another 247,000 jobs this year. remember, i'm not talking here about the c.e.o.'s of the airline companies. these are hard-working americans, people who work in

Amy Klobuchar

2:19:19 to 2:19:39( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the hotel rooms, the cooks, the janitors, the shop workers, the people that own the little flower stores next to hotels. they are the ones making the beds, they're the ones making the meals. these are the people that we should think about when we talk about the bill before the senate today. so the question before us today is: how can we bring international visits to the

Amy Klobuchar

2:19:40 to 2:20:00( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: united states? because do you know how much they each spend when they come here? something like $4,500 when they come to our country. $4,500 that goes to provide jobs to those janitors and those maids and those shop owners. we have just as much if not more to offer travelers than any other country in the world. stunning national landmarks like

Amy Klobuchar

2:20:01 to 2:20:21( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the grand canyon and the statue of liberty in your home state of new york, madam president, centers of fun and entertainment from las vegas to disney world, scenic country towns and the bright lights of the big cities, and those quiet moments in those little towns in my home state of minnesota. but we need to do a better job

Amy Klobuchar

2:20:22 to 2:20:42( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: at promoting the united states as a premier travel destination. we are in a competition for international travelers. we have to face it, we but we're not competing. now, you look at what's going on around the world when it comes to tourism. here are some examples. yemen has their own tourism promotion for their own country.

Amy Klobuchar

2:20:43 to 2:21:03( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: of course, the bahamas, i think many of us have seen those on tv. i certainly v. you see tourism australia. i've seen a few of those ads. south africa. taiwan. scotland. india. these countries are promoting themselves internationally to bring other visitors in. what do we have right now in our country?

Amy Klobuchar

2:21:04 to 2:21:24( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: we don't have a centralized promotion of our country for tourism. countries around the world make tourism a national priority because they see that it bridges jobs to their country -- that it brings jobs to their country. they spend millions of dollars on their program and have senior officials coordinate national tourism policy. frampled, vietnam, new zealand,

Amy Klobuchar

2:21:25 to 2:21:45( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: lebanon and jamaica have ministries of tourism. germany has a national tourist board and australia has a tourism australia program. in 2005, greece spent more than $150 million on tr promotion. france spent $63 million. that's what we're up against. the travel promotion act, madam president, would level the

Amy Klobuchar

2:21:46 to 2:22:07( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: playing field so we can compete with the rest of the world and recapture the lost market share. it will create the corporation for travel promotion, a public-private partnership to promote the united states as an international travel destination and finally establish a coordinated national travel program.

Amy Klobuchar

2:22:08 to 2:22:29( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: under the direction of a board of directors made up of representatives from the states, the feder government and the travel industry, the corporation would be in charge of a national travel promotion program whose goals would be to encourage travel to the united states, to communicate our country's travel policies, and to promote international exposure for parts

Amy Klobuchar

2:22:30 to 2:22:51( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: of america that don't have the resources to promote themsves. as i mentioned earlier, our loss in the share of the world travel market isn't a new phenomenon. it actually started after september 11, where, for good reasons, security msures were put inlace. but some of these good reasons have turned into very difficult times for tourists to come over and that's what needs to be fixed.

Amy Klobuchar

2:22:52 to 2:23:12( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: that's why part of this bill would make it easier for tourists to get their visas, make it easier for them to come and visit this country. a lot of times it's just simply expediting the checks that need to be made and ming sure that they can get their visas just like they can get one, say, to go to canada or mexico or any other country. the bill will also establish the

Amy Klobuchar

2:23:13 to 2:23:34( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: office of travel promotion in the department of commerce to work with the corporation for travel promotion and the secretaries of state and homeland security to make sure that international visitors are processed efficiently. america is a country that wraps our arms around those that come to visit us, and this bill will make sure international visitors know that they are welcome and

Amy Klobuchar

2:23:35 to 2:23:56( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: wanted. the travel promotion act is about more than just encouraging travel. it is also about building our economy. this bill is expected to bring in 1.6 million new international visitors each year, and since international visitors, as i've noted, spend an average of $4,500 per person while they're

Amy Klobuchar

2:23:57 to 2:24:17( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: here, this our economy. thatoney from overseas coming into our economy, into o tow and cities, into our small businesses, that's new money. if they're not going to come and spend it here, they're going to go to one of these other crssments they're going to go to the bahamas, they're going to go to australia, they're going to go to south africa. that's new money coming into our country.

Amy Klobuchar

2:24:18 to 2:24:39( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the u.s. travel association estimates that this bill will create 40,000 new jobs and economists at oxford economics expect the bill to generate $4 billion in new spending $321 million in tax revenue. just as important as how much it will generate is how much it will cost, which is zero for american taxpayers.

Amy Klobuchar

2:24:40 to 2:25:02( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: this bill comes at no cost to the taxpayer. it will be paid for by a combination of private-secto contributions and a $10 fee on international travelers entering the united states of america. zero cost -- big benefit. the congressional budget office just released a report that estimates that this bill w

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:03 to 2:25:23( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: reduce budget deficits by $425 million over the next ten years. that is the bill pending before this body today. the ma for no cost to the taxpayer, we can boost travel, boost the economy and reduce the deficit. that's why this bill has such strong bipartisan support in the senate.

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:24 to 2:25:44( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: it als numerous organizations like the u.s. travel association, the u.s. conference of mayors, and the u.s. chamber of commerce. endorsements. as you can see, newspapers in every part of the country support this legislation. i'll read just a few. "the sacramento bee" -- the

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:45 to 2:26:06( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: country needs to reclaim its status as a global magnet for visitors even in the post/9/11 climate and congress can help by passing the travel promotion act by the end of this year. the "dallas morning news," september 6: "the travel promotion act is a sensible first step toward putting the

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:07 to 2:26:30( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: welcome mat back on america's doorstep. the orlando sentinel travelers $10 on promotion to bring in all that money makes sense." "detroit free press," september 5, 2008, "doesn't it make sense to encourage at no cost to taxpayers foreign visiters to come here and leave some money? there's no good reason not to pass this bill." and finally, i leave the best to

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:31 to 2:26:52( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: last, the "duluth news tribune," duluth, minnesota, may 18, 2009: "ideaso bolster economic recovery without plunging the nation any deeper into debt would be welcome by taxpayers from coast to coast." that is what we're talking about here, and i know important it is, tourism, for the city of duluth t. had some very difficult economic times in

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:53 to 2:27:13( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the at one point i was so bad that there was a bill board that someone put up outside duluth said, "the last one to leave, please turn off the lights." that's what they were dealing w. and they bolstered their economy through tourism. i was just up there, we did a field hearing in there. they've actually seen an increase in their convention and business travel this year.

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:14 to 2:27:34( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: ma a few people are going to places like duluth, for businesses that are cutting back a little. but the important part of this is that you have one town just like so many across the country have benefited from tourism. this is what we're talking about across the country. and one might wonder, why didn't this pass earlier, why haven't we been able to get this through? i really can't answer this question.

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:35 to 2:27:55( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: it makes no sense to me. sometimes people don't want to talk about tourism because they think doesn't seem as important. but when one out of eight americans are employed in this business, it is important. this bill's important. i urge my colleagues to support it. i hope that we can get it through intact. i hope that we will have a minimum amount of amendments and that we can simple duly

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:56 to 2:28:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: something good in a bipartisan way -- simply do something good in a bipartisan way that will help the jobs in america one out

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