GBTA Brings Trusted Traveler and Increasing International Business Travel to U.S. Message to Capitol Hill
Attendees Heard From Leading Members of Congress and Industry Stakeholders
Rounding out the morning session was Jessica Lucas-Judy, Assistant Director, Homeland Security & Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office (GAO), who discussed how the GAO reviews the success of programs like the PreCheck program and the technology used to ensure flyer safety.
After lunch, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told attendees that we needed to be more specific in our security measures as a ‘one size fits all’ approach would not work. He advocated for risk-based screening and trusted traveler programs, and emphasized the challenge of “figuring out the balance of security of our nation and the privacy of our citizens.” Later, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) spoke passionately about the importance of the visa waiver program and how important travel is to our country’s economy. She said that “international visitors are essential to growing my state’s economy and we need to do what we can to support easy and safe entrance to our county.” Claire McCaskill (D-MO) told attendees that travel was a vital component to our global economy and that smart screening and a strong infrastructure was “needed to get folks on planes to do business.” Michael Stroud, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Legislative Affairs, DHS, reviewed the Administration’s efforts to increase international business travel to the U.S., including expansion of the Visa Waiver Program.
At an evening reception, Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) welcomed attendees to the event and to the upcoming 2013 GBTA Convention being held in San Diego in August. The event continued Wednesday morning, June 26, with Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) who discussed the JOLT Act (H.R. 1354) that will increase international travel to the United States through much needed reforms to the U.S. visa application and issuance process, and allow more countries to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) then urged attendees to support EDSTAR, a bill to prohibit further state and local rental car taxes that increase business travel costs with no benefit to the industry.
More than 100 GBTA members met with individual Senators, Representatives, and key staff. Among the key policy issues discussed were expanding TSA’s PreCheck program, growing the successful Global Entry program, passing the JOLT Act (HR 1354) to increase international travel to the U.S., opposing the proposed increase to the aviation security fee, and ending discriminatory taxes on rental car consumers.
About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA’s 5,700-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 21,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. The foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see and .
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