February 8, 2011–Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., recently proposed an amendment to a bill that would eliminate the $200 million dollar Essential Air Service program that was established to protect rural communities after deregulation in 1978. McCain supports his proposal by maintaining that although the amendment to repeal the $200 million dollars in subsidies is not significant”in light of a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit”, Americans have made it clear that they want to cut unnecessary costs; McCain views Essential Air Service as an unnecessary expenditure.
However, a number of Senators have come together in opposition of McCain, pointing out that Essential Air Service is necessary for rural communities, providing jobs, economic development, and in some cases, keeping the prices of essential household items and food at manageable levels. Sens. Mark Begich (D-Ala.), Benjamin Nelson (D-Neb.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have made it clear that they will defend the Essential Air Service program and the communities served by it, vowing to fight McCain’s proposal “tooth and nail”.
Follow these links to read several recent articles (& let us know what YOU think!):
- Schumer Blasts Proposals to Cut Air Services Program: EAS Essential Investment for Upstate Air Service (ABC.com)
- McCain Targets Cash for Essential Air Service for Rural Communities (The Juneau Empire)
- Gillibrand Urges Increase for Area Air Service Program (The Post-Journal)
- Rockefeller, Manchin Fight to Maintain Essential Air Service (Charleston Daily Mail)
- Federal Funding Cuts Could Erase Central Nebraska Flights (News 5)
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