A Congressman from Kansas rose to speak on the floor of the House of Representatives on July 22, and challenged recent remarks about general aviation by President Barack Obama, echoing what individuals and companies from every corner of the industry have said since the President's comments on June 29.
"General aviation doesn't want a bailout… We have a community that just wants to create jobs and grow our economy," declared Rep. Mike Pompeo (R–4–KS) during a speech, which was delivered just after 9 AM Eastern Time and broadcast on the C-Span cable network. A video clip of the speech is also available on the Congresesman's web site.
"Who is President Obama hurting?" Rep. Pompeo asked, rhetorically, about the president's June 29 comments. "Bill Gates? Warren Buffett? No. He is only hurting line workers in Wichita, Kansas and all over the country, who are trying to make a living for their families. He is hurting the small business owner trying to get from Topeka to Des Moines in time to close a deal."
Congressman Pompeo, long a defender of all general aviation, including business aviation, has spoken out in other ways in recent weeks. On July 14, sent a letter inviting the President to visit Wichita and learn first-hand about GA's contribution to the economy.
On July 19, he circulated a Dear Colleague letter to his fellow House lawmakers to highlight the importance of business aircraft manufacture and use, pointing out: "Business jets are essential productivity tools that allow American businesses to be among the most competitive in the world. The general aviation manufacturing base is crucial to the U.S. economy."
On June 20, Rep. Pompeo participated via live video-stream with other elected leaders, as well as figures from business and the labor movement leaders for a press conference in Wichita, where he pointed out: "the President's own corporate jet (Air Force One) is built and serviced by the hard-working people of Wichita."
On the House floor today, quoting statistics from the "No Plane, No Gain" advocacy campaign which is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Rep. Pompeo pointed out that the industry employs 1.2 million people and contributes $150 billion of economic activity each year.
"We have a community that just wants to create jobs and grow our economy," he said. "That may not be your agenda, President Obama, but it's certainly mine."