Stephen DeMaura

This is especially important since the American commercial aviation industry is vital to our economy. It supports ten million jobs and over a trillion dollars of economic activity. Many American companies and their employees would be negatively impacted by this preclearance facility, which is why this issue has attracted a strong, but diverse coalition of members lobbying against it. The issue has made for strange bedfellows with groups like the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Democrats and Republicans, uniting against this proposed preclearance facility. Yet, it seems as if DHS is willfully ignoring calls from Members of Congress, aviation workers and American employers to stop the government involvement in the preclearance facility.

It is important that Congress pass Congressmen DeFazio and Meehan’s legislation, so that we can send a strong message to government bureaucrats in the Department of Homeland Security. Our tax dollars must not be used to strengthen America’s competitors in the airline industry, particularly when the carrier in question Etihad Airways already receives millions in assistance from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

It would almost seem our own government using our own money is hell bent on killing our own jobs by expending resources on a foreign preclearance facility not used by domestic carriers, while also providing the foreign airline benefitting from it favorable loan guarantees and terms that our own companies cannot receive.

The lunacy must stop and Congress must move on common sense legislation such as that proposed by Congressmen Meehan and DeFazio which establishes guidelines for the establishment of preclearance facilities, while also prohibiting such a facility in the Abu Dhabi airport.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.