The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.// © Photos.com
Earlier this month, passage of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 appeared to have been delayed in the Senate, and the Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported it as having “died” due to party politics.
Last month, the Senate voted 90-3 to bring the act to the floor for debate when arguments over non-related amendments erupted. While Senate Republicans offered five bill amendments related to the Troubled Asset Relief program, they objected to an amendment proposed by Democrats that involved the Commodities Future Trading Commission.
Following this disagreement, a motion to end debate and bring the bill up for a vote failed and the measure was left undecided.
According to the Congressional Record, Senate Majority Leader and bill co-sponsor Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said what the Republicans had done amounted to “obstructionism” and that “this bill is probably finished for the year.”
The bill aims to establish a corporation for travel promotion that would promote the U.S. as a travel destination to foreign markets, as well as communicate information regarding U.S. security and travel entry procedures.
Supporters of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, including the U.S. Travel Association, insisted that the bill is not dead and that it continues to be up for debate in the Senate.
“It is not unusual for legislation to temporarily stall in the U.S. Senate due to procedural hurdles as members seek compromises,” U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow told Travel Weekly.
Fellow bill co-sponsor, Sen. Byron Dorgan, said, “This Congress cannot even agree on tourism, for God’s sake. … How dysfunctional can a legislative body become?”
U.S. Travel Association representatives remain optimistic about the health of the bill, however, because the failed vote had more to do with unrelated amendments as opposed to the actual bill itself. Bill supporters hope the Travel Promotion Act will be brought back to the floor by a single motion before Congress’ August recess.