Senate Set to Pass Bipartisan Bills to Keep Americans Safe, Protect American Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act and the Energy Policy Modernization Act:  

“Today the Senate is closer to passing the most comprehensive aviation security reforms in years. I hope we’ll do so today.

“This important legislation will bolster security for travelers and look out for consumers’ interests. Here’s how it will help improve security:

• By improving vetting and inspections of airport employees to deter terror attacks.

• By expanding security measures in pre-screening zones, which are often vulnerable.

• By shoring up security for international flights coming into our airports.

• And by improving preparation for everything from cybersecurity attacks to active shooter scenarios to outbreaks of communicable diseases.

“This legislation will also benefit consumers by requiring airlines to offer refunds for lost or delayed bags, by providing more information on things like seat availability, and by improving travel for passengers with disabilities.

“It accomplishes this without increasing taxes or fees on passengers, and without imposing heavy-handed regulations that diminish choice for travelers.

“This important FAA reauthorization and airport security legislation is the result of strong leadership by Senator Thune, Chair of the Commerce Committee, and Senator Ayotte, Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee — as well as their Democratic counterparts, Senators Nelson and Cantwell. They worked diligently across partisan lines, listened to their colleagues’ ideas, and never stopped working toward legislation both sides could support.

“In the Commerce Committee, nearly 60 amendments were accepted from both sides — and the bill passed by voice vote. On the floor, more than a dozen amendments were accepted from both sides — and I’m optimistic that we’ll soon pass it here on a bipartisan basis.

“I appreciate the efforts of the bill managers to work through amendments and move this bill forward.

“This important FAA reauthorization and airport security legislation was bipartisan from the start. It shows why returning to regular order is so important. It’s another example of what can be achieved in this Republican-led Senate, a Senate we’ve put back to work for the American people.

“Thanks to an agreement reached last night, the Senate is now poised to pass broad, bipartisan energy legislation too.

“We have an agreement to take the Energy Policy Modernization Act back up, consider even more amendments, and then take a final vote on it.

“I was encouraged to see the Democratic Leader yesterday agreeing that this is important legislation. It will support more American jobs, more American growth, and more American energy independence. And we will finish our work soon.

“Passage of this bill will represent the culmination of more than a year’s worth of hard work: countless listening sessions and oversight hearings, numerous amendment votes and debate hours, and impressive reserves of determination from both the Chair and Ranking Member of the Energy Committee.

“Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell never gave up. Even when passage of this bill seemed impossible, they never stopped pushing for it. I’ve been impressed by their efforts just as I’ve been impressed with what this broad, bipartisan energy bill can achieve for our country.”

Related Issues: Homeland Security, FAA, Energy, Back to Work, Jobs