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Weekly Updates - November 9, 2018 - Election Results

November 9, 2018

2018 Election Results from a GBTA Perspective

  • GBTA saw 9 of its supported candidates win and 3 lose - 2 are still undecided due to recounts
  • Two races are in the midst of recounts (Florida and Arizona)
  • One member of Congress retired after the PAC contribution was made

All 2016 and 2018 GBTA Champions of Business Travel Won Reelection

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar              D-MN    2016     
  • Representative Gus Bilirakis        R-FL     2016
  • Representative Steve Cohen       D-TN     2016
  • Representative Sam Graves        R-MO    2016
  • Representative John Katko          R-NY     2016
  • Representative Kathleen Rice      D-NY     2016
  • Representative Mike Quigley       D-IL      2016
  • Rep. John Katko                         R-NY     2018     
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman      D-NJ     2018     
  • Rep. Sam Graves                       R-MO     2018     

 
Candidates Supported by the Business Travel PAC in 2016-18 Election Cycle (this is where your PAC donations went)
 



OVER THE RIVER: As noted in GBTA’s Tuesday blog post “What will the election mean for business travel” no matter who won the House or Senate, there would be change at the top of committees that impact business travel, which also means a change in governing philosophies. 

According to a Politico report, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the likely next chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement to Morning Transportation that one of his top priorities would be overhauling TSA in three areas: security operations, personnel management and transparency. "Congress must demand sustained accountability to ensure that TSA officials finally implement unfulfilled security recommendations that sometimes languish for years," he said. "We also must ensure that TSA officials are protecting whistleblowers, and we need to increase transparency over settlements with employees who report security vulnerabilities." Cummings has worked with Republicans over the past three years on an investigation of TSA employee misconduct and retaliations against whistleblowers, and "it is now time to convert our oversight findings into concrete reforms," he said.

AND THROUGH THE WOODS: Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) officially launched his bid to lead Republicans on the House Transportation Committee this week. His announcement letter to the Republican Conference contained his vision for leading the minority party through the upcoming transportation issues. "I am uniquely qualified to serve as Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee," wrote Graves. "I'm an accomplished legislator with a strong conservative record, plus a professional pilot and user of the system.”

TO GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will be the chair of the Transportation Committee and wasted no time in setting out his agenda in a call with reporters.

DeFazio said he’d like to direct $500 billion to surface modes and given the 2020 deadline, he intends to start work on a new surface transportation bill in January, along with a separate infrastructure package. Of interest to GBTA was his other priority of implementing a “modest increase” in the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), stating his belief that the primary aviation chokepoint to focus on is “on the ground” as a result of too few available gates. He also said he would ask airlines to provide documentation of how their own ancillary fee hikes impacted passenger reservations.

WE GO: Our good friends at Cornerstone have written a thorough review of the elections. You can read through it here.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS CHALLENGE: Because you are all outstanding volunteers, you are already working on the Challenge. We are planning to officially roll this out in early January. We are making some tweaks, but nothing too major. I ask that you call me and run any PAC fundraising plans by me first. We hope to have the dates set for the Legislative Summit soon – think nice spring, mid-May weather.