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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 16, 2009 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

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eye quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. a senator: mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: mr. president, every year thousands of people travel to comely to to enjoy some of the most exciting recreational opportunities in the world. although my home state's known for its skiing, we're a summertime destination with four national parks, five national monuments and 41 state parks for travelers to enjoy. visitors can go whitewater rafting down the colorado river or hike and climb in the magnificent rockies. we have wildwest ghost towns, historic railroads and american indian cultural sites to visit. now, obviously travel and tourism is an incredibly important sector of colorado's
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economy. for every $1 million spent in colorado by test and i can international travelers -- by domestic and international travelers, 11 jobs are created. travel and tourism alone generated $13.7 billion in revenue in 2007 in colorado alone and almost 150,000 coloradans owe their jobs to that industry. and that's why, mr. president, today i rise to express my support for the travel promotion act of 2009. i'm a proud cosponsor of this bill, which has strong support from members across the aisle. and i do look forward to voting for its passage later this week. while i've listed just the beginning of the numerous reasons to visit colorado, the truth is that our tourism and travel industry has suffered in recent years. many people, mr. president, don't realize it, but across our great country, our tourism
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industry has never fully recovered after september 11, particularly when it comes to travel from outside our country into the united states. and that compares with this fact. travel around the world has dramatically increased in the past decade, while travel here to the united states has dropped. in 2008, we welcomed fewer visitors to our own country than we did in the year 2000. why? well, part of the problem is that visitors from overseas have been confused by the new procedures for entering our country. foreign visitors also say they don't think we're making much of an effort to attract international travelers. and that's costing communities across our country billions of dollars in lost revenue. in fact, one study suggested over $182 billion, mr. president, $182 billion has been lost since september 11, 2001. in my state of colorado, the
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industry, the travel and tourism industry, it's a strong economic engine and it's one that we have to keep strong and we have to invest in. and part of that's changing the perception that the u.s. isn't interested in hosting foreign tourists. and that's the point of this legislation. the legislation before us would help revive international travel to the united states so we can get that economic engine revved up to its full capacity. now, the purpose of the bill is to sell travel in the united states to overseas tourists, including areas that aren't well-known destinations. of course, the presiding officer's state is also a place we want to attract people to its wonderful beaches and the wonderful historical sites, the great state of delaware. but let me tell you quickly some of the details in this legislation t. would establish a corporation for travel promotion which will be an independent nonprofit corporation governed by an 11-member board that the secretary of commerce would appoint. it would create an office of
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travel promotion in the department of commerce to develop programs to increase the number of international visiters to the united statesmen united d states. and it would set up a travel promotion fund which would be financed by private-public matching dollars. much of the cost would be borne by international travelers who'd pay a $10 fee collected through the electronic system for travel authorization. mr. president, other countries are spending billions of dollars on travel promotions, and we all in this body think, those of us who sponsor -- have sponsored this legislation and hopefully will vote for it overwhelmingly at the end of this week, that we should stay competitive with other countries. so the travel promotion act would directly contribute to the economic recovery of our travel and tourism industry. it would spur job growth, and it would contribute to the tax base of local and regional and state governments, many of which are being forced to make, as we know all too well, drastic cuts in this tough economic time.
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but, mr. president, as well, before i close, i wanted to mention that there are nonfinancial benefits to international travel as well. i want to quote that great american, mark twain. he said that "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrowmindedness." america's image in the world, as we know, has suffered greatly over the past several years. but travel to our country, to america is one of our most effective tools of public diplomacy. studies have shown over and over again that when people come to our country, they return home with a very positive view of not just our country as it's described in the books but the landscapes and the people and the way we live our lives. so in addition to helping strengthen our economy, this bill would strengthen our place in the world. so let me end by thanking and acknowledging the chairman of the commerce committee, rockefeller, ranking member
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hutchison, and senator dorgan for quickly bringing this legislation to the floor. i look forward to the passage of the travel promotion act so we can continue to get travel and tourism and, of course, then our economy back on track. mr. president, with that, i'd ask that my statement be printed in the record inspect appropriate place following the tefntion the bill -- following the text of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call -- mr. udall: and i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. kaufman: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be dispensed. .the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. kaufman: i rise to honor the winners of jefferson award for public service and the four winners from my home state of delaware much the jefferson awards were created in 1972 as a kind of nobel prize for volunteers in the community service in america. named for our third president whose embodiment of our spirit of community and service inspires and they presented annually for national and state winners. the mission of the state jefferson awards is to recognize unsung heroes in our communities who give their time and their care in service to others. on a national level, jefferson awares are bestowed upon those
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who contributed significantly to advancing these principles. past winners include colin powell, bill and melinda gates and oprah and sandra day o'connor. this year, four outstanding delawareans have won awards because of innovative programs and dedication to inspiring fellow citizens to service. elaine chester created a program through the delaware division of family services to help low-income children receive wrapped holiday gifts matching children in need with people interested in sending gift. under her leadership which is one of the largest corporate gift drives in delaware. it benefits hundreds of childrens annually including those terminally ill. since the expansion in nursing home the elderly receive gifts
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from employees, as well. leonard young, also wilmington, earned his jefferson award for tireless promotion of public health, education, and wellness initiatives encouraging others to get regular preventive health screening has led delawareans to incorporate healthy living into their routines educating youth about the dangers of substance abuse and preventing violent behavior in relationships, a leader in the community and his involvement in public health endeavors is far reaching. i am especially proud this year's national winner of the jefferson award for outstanding service is a high school in wilmington, delaware. led by two seniors: robert leskevchy and dominic tagliony giving their time to mentoring local students, volunteering with the blue gold foundation
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for those with intellectual disabilities and helping at the local mcronald house. they have established a lasting program for youth volunteerism based on the principles of the eversenator awards and i am privileged to have the opportunity to meet will lane, leonard, rob, and dominic at a reception day honoring the winners from across the country. i hope my colleagues will join me in celebrating their achievements. their commitment to service and their embodiment of the greatest american quality of service above self- thank you-- above self. thank you, mr. president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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and self-
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