Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today that he is sponsoring an amendment to the Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Bill that would stop the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from allowing foreign control of U.S. airlines. American airlines should be just that, owned by Americans, said Poe.

The Department of Transportation has no legal authority to change 65 years of law and policy that requires U.S. citizens have active control over a U.S. airline, said Poe. The Transportation Departments proposal would change existing law by allowing foreign interests to control all commercial aspects of a U.S. airlines operations, including fleet mix, routes, frequency, classes of service and pricing.

Under DOTs plan, foreign interests could restructure the route system and fleet of a U.S. airline so that the U.S. airline become, in effect, a feeder for the international operations of a foreign carries. This could cost the American economy thousands of jobs, said Poe.

In addition, the DOT policy would allow a foreign investor to take an airline out of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, or accomplish this indirectly by changing the fleet mix of a U.S. airline by reducing the number of large, wide body civilian aircraft that the Department of Defense needs during a time of war.

Our military relies on commercial airlines to provide transportation for our troops when we deploy them overseas, said Poe. We cannot allow companies with allegiances to foreign governments to influence our ability to send troops where and when we choose. It is dangerous to outsource our national security.

This bi-partisan amendment offered by Congressmen Poe, Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and James Oberstar (D-MN) is important in addressing the threat posed to American jobs and to Homeland Security by taking the control of U.S. airlines out of the hands of Americans.

Congressman Poe serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, as well as the House Committee on International Relations, Terrorism and Nonproliferation Subcommittee.