Reports: Anti-BizAv TARP Language May Soon Disappear
July 29, 2009
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  • Hearing On Wednesday To Debate Removal Of Ban On BizJet Ownership

    As it turns out, rumors of the death of anti-bizjet language in the Troubled Asset Relief Program reform bill were somewhat exaggerated. However, several Congressional lawmakers remain optimistic that stipulation will be gone when the full bill goes to vote later this week.

    Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt (right) has introduced an amendment to the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009, which if passed would nullify a controversial measure introduced by Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank on Friday.

    As ANN reported, Frank’s proviso would “require divestment of private aircraft or leases” by companies receiving federal bailout assistance.

    The Wichita Eagle reports the office of Kansas Senator Sam Brownback jumped the gun Tuesday afternoon, issuing a statement stating the language had been removed. That wasn’t entirely accurate; rather, the House Committee on Rules will hear debate on the matter Wednesday, with a final vote expected Thursday or Friday.

    Kansas Representative Dennis Moore told the Eagle he’s working with Frank to strike the language from the bill, in exchange for stronger oversight measures to hold executives of beleaguered companies accountable for how they use the TARP funds… measures that were curiously lacking when initial bailout aid was given to a number of banks and other financial institutions last year.

    The three lawmakers — who represent a state with significant interests in the aviation industry — have argued the language of Frank’s bill would result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs tied to the manufacture and support of corporate aircraft.

    Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, noted last week Frank’s bill “could devastate the small businesses that fuel and service general aviation airplanes, further harm the manufacturers who are already laying off workers and slowing assembly lines, and take away a tool from companies that need general aviation airplanes to operate to and from the thousands of US communities that have little or no scheduled airline service.”

    Congressman Moore says he’s heard Frank has since removed the specific language against business jets from the TARP bill, though automakers would still be banned from operating large fleets of corporate aircraft.

    Frank’s bill was the latest sign of anti-BizAv sentiment festering among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, in the wake of fallout stemming from the circumstances surrounding the disasterous first appearance by the CEOs of the Detroit 3 automakers before Congress late last year… in which they each flew in corporate jets from Detriot to Washington to ask for bailout assistance.

    Source: AERO NEWS
    Date: 2009-01-14