During the month of May Lobbyit.com met and repeatedly talked with Rep. Garamendi's transportation staffer about including provisions.
The following legislation is followed by Lobbyit.com on behalf of AMFA:
H.R. 613 - Airports Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make it in America Act
NEW- This bill was introduced by Rep. Garamendi as an effort to increase "Buy American" provisions for materials used to build infrastructure projects. The bill closes loopholes so that entire structures must reach certain requirements consisting of American materials. Current laws simply state that a certain percentage of an airport or train depot must be American made, without specifically addressing the total structure. Current language applies that percentage requirement only apply to random components of the total structure; thus an airport could be 60% American made, but that figure may only reference a portion of the entire airport's construction. This loophole has forced certain companies to cut their workforce because construction projects are not ordering enough American materials or products to reach the mandated threshold.
This bill is currently in committee but the language may be added to the transportation bill which is in conference or offered as an amendment to another appropriations bill.
H.R. 2907 - Guaranteeing Airport Physical Screening Standards Act
NEW- This bill requires TSA to enact improved initiatives for airport screening and requires airports to updates their security plans within 3 years of the bills passage. H.R. 2907 was introduced by Rep. Lowey and the goal is to improve the security screening processes for travelers while maintaining safety, comfortability, and efficiency at our nation's airports. TSA has been criticized for either implementing ineffective strategies or failing to thoroughly conduct proper screenings across America's airports.
The bill does not specify any new initiatives to incorporate, rather requires the TSA and for airport managers to create their own initiatives and strategies. The bill is currently in the Transportation Security subcommittee within the Homeland Security committee.
The following stakeholder meetings were taken by Lobbyit.com on behalf of AMFA:
Rep. Garamendi (D-CA): Lobbyit.com met with Congressman Garamendi's transportation staffer, Elizabeth Shelton, to discuss H.R. 613, AMFA, and the possibility of including pro-AMFA language in the Congressman's bill. Elizabeth began the meeting by explaining the bill and its purpose: to close loopholes and increase American materials within the total construction of airports and train depots. The "Buy American" theme would address issues such as infrastructure construction across the country and would help businesses who have lost employees due to loopholes that are routinely exploited. Within his district, Rep. Garamendi has two businesses that have addressed this issue and the Congressman sees this as an opportunity to increase American jobs and help his constituent base. Lobbyit.com addressed parallel themes of creating American jobs within this "Buy American" bill and believes there is an opportunity to help AMFA and other aircraft mechanics with a "Repair American" clause. Lobbyit.com explained the heavy toll aircraft mechanics have endured as a result of jobs and work getting shipped overseas to foreign repair stations and taking skilled aircraft mechanics within the US out of the workforce. This problem not only creates American job losses, but it is also a major safety concern since many of these foreign workers do not have proper the skill sets or are nearly as thorough as AMFA employees. If this bill were to come to fruition with language preventing the mass exodus of aircraft mechanic work abroad, countless jobs could be saved and help restore a struggling industry. Elizabeth was interested in combining a "Buy American" and "Repair American" bill for the transportation industry and she said she would talk with the Congressman following our meeting. Similar to Elizabeth, the Congressman was intrigued by this proposal and with the help of Lobbyit's efforts, agreed to meet with AFMA leadership and discuss the issue further. Lobbyit.com is currently working with both Congressman Garamendi and his staff along with AMFA's president, Louie Key, to find an appropriate date within the next few weeks to have a formal briefing on Capitol Hill and see what opportunities may exist to accomplish these goals.
Karin Glasgow, TSA: Lobbyit.com talked with TSA's Security Policy and Industry Engagement staffer, Karin Glasgow, about a workgroup TSA is developing in relation to SIDA badge protocol and the possibility of finding new solutions for airport personnel screening. AMFA appears to be targeted as a candidate for this workgroup and Lobbyit.com is working on facilitating this partnership. At the moment, TSA is still refining the agenda and points addressed within this workgroup internally and have not yet completed the process. Once TSA has reached its conclusion, Lobbyit.com will maintain appropriate contacts in an effort to include AMFA's participation in this workgroup.