2011 ALPA-PAC Year In Review
2011 was a good year for ALPA in part because of ALPA-PAC’s efforts. Thanks to the generous contributions of more than 5,000 ALPA members, we were able to accomplish several things that have been in process for years and get started on some very important pieces of legislation that’ll effect pilots for years to come.
In 2011, ALPA-PAC:
· Raised more than $880,000 from dedicated pilots like you;
· Contributed $486,500 to pro-pilot candidates running for seats in the U.S. House and Senate;
· Maintained our status as one of the most bipartisan labor PACs in the country; 1/3 of all ALPA-PAC contributions go to Republicans (as opposed to an average of 1/4 among transportation unions and an average of less than 1/7 for all Labor unions); you can see which candidates earned ALPA-PAC’s support in 2011 through
· Launched a brand new website to help keep you better informed about the PAC; we also enabled online sign-up and change for ALPA-PAC checkoff;
· Helped push new flight- and duty-time rules through the FAA, a long time
· Fought off yet another attempt to tax employer provided benefits (like healthcare) and cap pre-tax retirement savings;
· Prevented an increase in the Export-Import Bank’s lending cap;
· Helped pass legislation in both the House and Senate making it illegal to point a laser into the cockpit of a plane;
· Helped to initiate the Known Crewmember program.
Of course, while 2011’s accomplishments will help pilots, there is more work to be done. Most importantly, all-cargo operations were excluded from the new fatigue rules, despite ALPA’s objections and Congress’ explicit directive to base the new rules on science. At ALPA-PAC, we are already working to have Congress send the FAA a new directive requiring One Level of Safety for all commercial flights in the very near future.
Looking ahead to 2012 and beyond:
At the top of our legislative agenda for the New Year is finally getting a full reauthorization for the FAA. Both the House and Senate have now passed long-term reauthorizations and all that remains is earning a final compromise between the two bills. We are closer than we have been in a long time to winning this compromise and both the House and Senate have promised action on this when they return later this month.
ALPA-PAC is also pushing for a broader discussion about the Export-Import Bank’s role in aircraft financing. While we were successful at preventing an increase in the Bank’s lending cap in the 2011 year-end spending bill, that fight is just getting started. We believe that the Bank should be doing economic impact studies on each of its loans to assess their effects on American jobs. Currently, the Bank has very little accountability or transparency in its decision-making process and several of its actions with respect to airline financing have resulted in the loss of pilot and airline jobs.
Looking further down the line, ALPA and ALPA-PAC have started discussions with legislators about encouraging a stronger airline sector and protecting pilot jobs into the future. For decades now, we have been very successful in fighting against changes to our cabotage and foreign control rules. We’re now taking that successful defense and going on the offensive. We’re asking Congress to take proactive steps now to guarantee labor provisions in our Open Skies agreements to ensure American pilots benefit from the agreements; ease tax burdens on airlines so our industry can grow, creating more pilot jobs; and eliminate burdensome consumer regulations that have resulted in a net loss of flights and flight-time.
Of course, the biggest event of 2012 will be the elections in November. 33 Senators and 435 House Members will be on the ballot in addition to the Presidential race. Furthermore, the decennial redistricting process means that a whole new set of seats will be competitive this year. ALPA-PAC will be very active across the country, supporting pro-pilot candidates and working to defeat anti-pilots candidates.
Thanks to the dedication of our members, we know that 2012 will be an even better year for pilots and the future of aviation.
Please contact Zack Mooneyham (firstname.lastname@example.org), ALPA-PAC Coordinator, at 202-797-4034 with any questions about ALPA-PAC.