Conservative Groups Urge Opposition to Airline Price-Control Scheme

Heather Higgins

August 1, 2018
The Honorable John Thune
Chairman
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Dear Chairman Thune:

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the re-regulation of the airline industry represented in Section 3129 of the Senate FAA Reauthorization bill, S. 1405. This provision, known as the Markey amendment, would require federal bureaucrats to undermine open competition and consumer choice by determining which airline fees are “unreasonable or disproportionate to the costs incurred by the air carrier.”

We oppose the Markey amendment. We oppose any attempt to have the federal government interfere in the free-market competition of the airline industry which has seen remarkable growth in affordability, safety and reliability.

Competing airlines offer different services to their customers at different rates. Having regulators set prices instead of air carriers themselves would eliminate the ability of passengers to determine what airline and price works best for them.

Since the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act (ADA), the federal government has not involved itself in controlling domestic airline fares and rates charged to passengers. When passing the ADA, Congress correctly came to the conclusion that a market based approach with less regulation was preferable to the existing price-control model. Passage of the ADA led the airline industry to flourish –since its passing, airline prices have dropped nearly 50% and the number of commercial passengers has tripled. What was previously a method of transportation reserved for the rich is now commonly utilized by all working class Americans. We believe any proposal that re-inserts the federal government into setting airline prices would pose a threat to this success.

We agree with the Department of Transportation’s own assessment that Section 3129 “represents a giant step backwards, presents a risk of even wider re-regulation of the airline industry, and ultimately would harm air carriers and consumers alike.”

We oppose price-controls such as Section 3129 of the Senate FAA Reauthorization bill and urge members to repeal this provision.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President
60 Plus Association

Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, ALEC Action

Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Marc Scribner
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Matthew Kandrach
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Thomas Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Nathan Nascimento
Executive Vice President, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Jason Pye
Vice President of Legislative Affairs, FreedomWorks

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women's Voice

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance



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