From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'Safety of Our Skies Too Important to Contract Out to the Lowest Bidder'

October 30, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on passage of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. Despite united Democratic opposition, the House of Representatives approved the conference report (H.R. 2115) on a party-line vote of 211 to 207.

"Just two days ago, the House voted unanimously to send the flawed FAA conference report back to the conference committee. But the Republicans denied Democrats any opportunity to meet in conference and fix the FAA bill. Instead they have chosen to bring the legislation back to the floor without the conference even having met. The only conference they had was a press conference.

"That is outrageous. It is disgraceful and a disservice to this body.

"And, tragically, it is part of a pattern. On the Medicare bill, on the Energy bill, on the Iraq supplemental, the views of the Republican leadership count, but the will of the people does not.

"The Republican leadership is running roughshod over the safety of the American people and the rights of their elected representatives. And why are they doing it? Because the people disagree with them. More than 70 percent of the American people oppose privatization, but it is in this conference report.

"The safety of our skies is too important to contract out to the lowest bidder. This bill endangers everyone who flies. It continues to allow the Administration to privatize the jobs of air traffic controllers in some of our most important and vulnerable areas.
"To add insult to injury, the Republicans will vote to make anti-terrorism training for flight attendants optional -- because the airlines do not want to pay for it. With the memories of September 11th fresh in our minds, how can we abandon the safety of our flight attendants and the passengers they must aid and protect in an emergency?

"The Bush Administration continues to put political ideology over safety. But nothing can be more important than the safety and security of the American people."




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