November 18, 2020
WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, announced that three bills he helped introduce to support the travel and tourism industry passed the Commerce Committee.
“The travel and tourism industry is especially important for a state like ours, which is home to incredible parks and attractions, and innovative aviation programs,” said Blunt. “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the millions of men and women who work in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors. All of these bills are focused on getting these industries back to full speed by supporting tourism, enhancing aviation security, promoting aerospace innovation, and improving the traveler experience. I hope the full Senate will echo the strong, bipartisan support these bills received in the committee.”
The Blunt-backed bills passed by the Commerce Committee include:
The Protecting Tourism in the United States Act: The bipartisan bill, which Blunt introduced with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), would help improve tourism across the country by studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and tourism, and identifying policy recommendations to assist the hard-hit industry. The bill would direct the U.S. Department of Commerce, in consultation with the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and the heads of other relevant federal agencies, to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on different sectors of the travel and tourism industry.
The National Air Grant Fellowship Program Act: The bipartisan legislation, which Blunt introduced with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (Wash.), would create one-year paid aerospace policy fellowship roles for graduate and post-graduate students in Congress, at the Federal Aviation Administration, and in other federal agencies. The Air Grant program will allow aviation students to closely engage with Congress and the FAA to develop policies aimed at promoting U.S.-led growth and innovation in the aerospace sector.
Registered Traveler Act: The legislation, introduced by U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and cosponsored by Blunt, would modernize the Registered Traveler (RT) program and strengthen aviation security. Specifically, the bill would solidify the authorization for the RT program, define the Transportation Security Administration’s role in approving and supervising RT programs, and grant RT providers access to technology and information to improve security and the traveler experience at airport security checkpoints.