Brand USA Reauthorization Again Clears U.S. House – Will Head to President Upon Senate Approval of Legislative Package
WASHINGTON, DC – As part of H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, the House Thursday evening again approved the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014. This jobs bill reauthorizes Brand USA, the public-private partnership created to promote tourism here in the United States. Brand USA assists in financing international advertising for the United States as a world travel destination, and the effort is paid for by international visitors and contributions from the private sector – not by U.S. taxpayers. The bill, authored by committee member Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), originally passed the House in July and includes language that increases transparency and accountability in the program. The program is also fiscally responsible as the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Brand USA would reduce the federal deficit by $231 million over 10 years.
Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) commented, “Tourism is a significant economic driver – supporting millions of jobs and contributing hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy. And Brand USA plays an especially important role in generating interest for international travelers to come visit America. Tourism brings jobs and revenue to nearly every corner of the country – including thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars annually to southwest Michigan alone. I commend Gus Bilirakis for his leadership, and look forward to Brand USA’s continued success for years to come.”
Bilirakis added, “Tourism is an integral part of our economy – especially in Florida. Increased tourism means more American and Floridian jobs. My bill means job growth without utilizing a cent of taxpayer money. In fact, it lowers the deficit. Millions of Americans across the country are still struggling, and Brand USA reauthorization is a jobs bill with a proven track record. I am pleased my initiative will become law. It is a big win for all Americans in the service and tourism industries, and Floridians all across the state, including the Tampa Bay area. Common sense solutions like these to boost the economy and create jobs will spur our slow economic recovery.”
A recent analysis performed by the independent firm Oxford Economics estimated that, in fiscal year 2013, Brand USA generated 1.1 million additional international visitors who spent an estimated $3.4 billion dollars.
To view a full list of groups supporting this jobs bill click here.