You Get What You Paid For: Lobbyists Edition

Yesterday, the Senate defeated a motion that would table Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the indefinite detention of American citizens. This clears the way for a roll-call vote on the Lee amendment soon.  Roll-call vote on tabling the Lee amendment here.

Off the floor of Congress, lobbyists continue to push to limit or return the open skies agreements—even though over 50,000 jobs have been created by just one open skies agreement. Open skies lowers international airfare for international travelers to and from America. These international travelers help our economy by spending money in America.

But U.S. airlines, instead of investing money to improve service for passengers, have spent over $50 million dollars on lobbyists for open skies. All that money failed to get them their top priority—open skies partners being banned from operating new “fifth freedom flights.” According to a Wall Street Journal article, the well-paid lobbyists lied to their airline clients about their success in achieving this goal!

The fact is the Trump Administration wisely rejected pleas to restrict Open Skies and instead only asked our Open Skies partners to submit to audits using “internally accepted financial standards.”

Congress should do something good for consumers by passing Opens Skies in this years Federal Aviation Administration bill or the Transportation Appropriations bill. And the airlines—along with other big corporations—should consider whether it is really in their long-term interests to divert millions from improving their products by paying D.C.-based lobbyists to get them special privileges and harm their competitors.


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