U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Jonathan Grella:
“The U.S. travel community strongly supports Chairman Thompson and Chairman DeFazio’s measure to end the practice of using the ‘9/11’ fee to pay for programs unrelated to air travel security.
“Diverting part of the 9/11 security fee to general revenue was an unfortunate and misguided decision in multiple ways. The fee diversion plays budgetary games with one of the most critical and sensitive federal government functions: air transportation security. User fees fundamentally should be used to benefit the system from which they were collected—a bedrock principle embraced by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The missed opportunities to invest in upgrades and innovation—as well as to prepare the system for disruptions such as the recent partial government shutdown—are innumerable.
“When it comes to security, it’s far better to proactively address problems than reactively respond to crises. Congress should eliminate the security fee diversion, act now to reverse the impacts of the recent shutdown, prepare for the busy summer travel season ahead, and provide TSA with vital resources to modernize and improve its operations.
“We applaud Chairman Thompson and Chairman DeFazio’s attention to this issue, and hope it succeeds in ceasing the ill-advised practice of fee diversion.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.2 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation's economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.