destination and communicates U . S . visa and entry policies .
Brand USA ’ s federal funding comes from $ 10 of each $ 14 Electronic System for Travel Authorization fee paid by travelers entering the U . S . from Visa Waiver Program nations . These funds are then matched by private-sector contributors .
The House FY2018 bill for the Department of Homeland Security appropriations , which funds the U . S . Customs and Border Protection — and , thus , VWP — did not include funding redirected from Brand USA . This is a clear win for the industry and shows just how much Congress supports the travel and tourism sector .
On Sept . 30 , the Federal Aviation Administration ’ s spending authority was set to expire , unless Congress passed new legislation . At press time , it appeared that the House and Senate would not be able to both pass their
Congress has clearly made travel security , travel modernization and tourism promotion a priority as part of its funding plan for fiscal year 2018 .
respective legislation and then come together for a conference committee in time to meet that deadline . It is likely that the House and Senate will pass a short-term extension for the FAA , possibly through December .
In the House , the fight is over the proposed privatization of air traffic control . House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster , a Republican from Pennsylvania , is pushing hard to get the votes to pass his bill . Action on the bill was rumored to occur in September . In the Senate , the FAA bill faces a number of obstacles , including a fight over changes to the 1,500-hour pilot training rule and limited time to consider the bill . ( Senate rules make it harder than it is in the House to take up and simply pass legislation .) Ever since President Trump ’ s inauguration , there has been near-constant talk of an infrastructure package coming from both Congress and the White House . While Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act , even with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House , the GOP is looking for a legislative win .
They are currently pivoting their attention towards major tax reform , something that has not been accomplished since 1986 . While dialogue on infrastructure has persisted , a timeline has never been established . The administration ’ s proposal , though largely devoid of details , does flag repatriating corporate profits held overseas . Many have asserted that these funds should go toward infrastructure .
At the end of August , the White House held an event with the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney , Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and other senior members of the administration ’ s infrastructure team to brief state , local and tribal leaders on the president ’ s rebuilding initiative .
The current infrastructure plan begins with providing federal funding for projects that are already partially funded through local or private means . The plan will then shift to rural areas and will use the rest of the $ 200 billion federal funding goal to emphasize transformative infrastructure technology , such as new ways of building roads , tunnels and bridges . In the Senate , the Democrats have proposed a trillion dollar infrastructure package .
While an exact infrastructure plan and its timing remain relatively unclear , it is clear that both Congress and the White House are focused on improving and enhancing the manner in which citizens and visitors travel around the United States . These pro-travel advancements are a success for NTA , and they indicate that elected officials are aware of the importance of the tourism industry .
Signal Group is a Washington , D . C ., lobbying firm retained by NTA to advise members about travel-related issues and legislation .
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