House Approves Bipartisan Tourism Bill to Boost the Economy and Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today approved H.R. 4450, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014, by a strong bipartisan vote. This bipartisan legislation, authored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), reauthorizes Brand USA, a public-private partnership that helps market U.S. destinations to international travelers at no cost to taxpayers. The bill also includes important reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting H.R. 4450 would reduce the U.S. federal deficit by $231 million over 10 years.
"My legislation means job growth without utilizing a dime of taxpayer dollars. Millions of Americans across the country are still struggling, and H.R. 4450 will help them get back to work. Brand USA reauthorization is a jobs bill," said Bilirakis. "I am proud that my colleagues have joined me in a bipartisan effort to pass H.R. 4450 in the House of Representatives, continuing the House’s track record of passing meaningful, impactful bills to help Americans across the country. The Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act will increase Brand USA’s efficiency, effectiveness, transparency – it is a huge step forward for the accountability of the program. It is my hope the Senate will pass the companion bill – S. 2250 – without delay."
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, "I thank Mr. Bilirakis and Mr. Welch for their leadership in spearheading this bipartisan bill that will encourage international travelers to visit U.S. destinations, which helps to create jobs and support economic growth in communities across the nation. In 2013, Brand USA generated an additional 1.1 million visitors to the U.S. and $3.4 billion in additional spending at U.S. businesses. This increase in spending triggered the creation of more than 53,000 American jobs and $2.2 billion in payroll. Brand USA delivers all of these benefits to the U.S. economy at no cost to the American taxpayers, and the added transparency and accountability measures included in this legislation will help improve the program and allow for even greater success."
Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE) added, "Thanks to Brand USA, travel agents from abroad can educate their clients on popular attractions in America’s heartland—not just New York City or Los Angeles. Nebraska alone has seen $4.4 billion in economic contributions and 44,275 jobs supported throughout the life of Brand USA. And with H.R. 4450, we increase accountability, as well as transparency requirements and performance metrics to ensure Brand USA is run efficiently. I thank Mr. Bilirakis and Mr. Welch for their hard work in drafting H.R. 4450 so that our economy can continue to benefit from Brand USA."
A broad group of stakeholders support legislation to reauthorize Brand USA, including:
To read the letters of support, click HERE.