U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) this week led the way on unanimous congressional committee approval of legislation that would bring more international visitors—and the dollars they spend—to Nebraska and the Greater Omaha region.

H.R. 4450 would reauthorize Brand USA, a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to Nebraska and the entire United States. The legislation is sponsored by more than a third of the U.S. House, almost equally Republican and Democrat in number, while its Senate companion bill is sponsored by more than a quarter of that chamber.

“By providing critical leadership for Brand USA in the House of Representatives, Congressman Terry stands up for the thousands of individuals and small businesses in Nebraska that depend on travel,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Brand USA helps promote Omaha and the entire state of Nebraska in major international travel markets to encourage more visitors to experience for themselves the heartland of America.”

Brand USA would strengthen Nebraska’s travel sector—a key component of the Cornhusker State’s economy. In 2012, travel:

  • Contributed nearly $4.5 billion to Nebraska’s GDP, making it the state’s third-largest industry behind agriculture and manufacturing;
  • Supported more than 44,000 Nebraska jobs; and
  • Generated more than $600 million in tax receipts.

Brand USA delivers $47 in economic benefits for every dollar spent on marketing programs. Nationwide in 2013, Brand USA generated an estimated $3.4 billion in new visitor spending and supported 53,000 American jobs. Best of all, Brand USA does not cost U.S. taxpayers a single penny. The program is funded by a modest fee on foreign travelers together with matching contributions from the private sector. Brand USA is the fiscally conservative way to drive increased jobs and growth in Nebraska.

Terry chairs the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Chairman Terry’s subcommittee approved the bill to reauthorize Brand USA last week on a 22-0 vote, paving the way for unanimous approval this week by the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

“We salute Congressman Terry for his leadership and will work with him to secure congressional reauthorization of Brand USA this year to further promote travel to Nebraska,” concluded Dow.

Click here to learn more about Brand USA.

U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.