tv Sen. Bob Casey D-PA and panel at Aviation Safety Forum CSPAN August 2, 2018 12:52pm-1:15pm EDT
bear including a speech but faa acting administrator. senator bob casey who is working on a bill regarding in-flight sexual assault led off the conference this morning. we were not able to show you earlier due to the length of another live event but here are his remarks as we wait for the white house briefing which is coming up shortly live here on c-span2. >> captain, think you very much. i know i might be among the first speakers of the day and i'm cognizant of that as a difficult assignment sometimes. the only more difficult assignment is to be the speaker right before lunch. so i won't abuse my privilege of speaking to this morning. i know you are here at a time when normally if your here on a thursday you have congress full of activity. the house and the senate. at least on the senate side. i'm not sure what happened on
the outside but a lease on the senate side we ended up leaving one day early. so most, i may be the only senator intent. apparently that's what i am here. [laughing] i'm the only one left. i'm only kidding. i was invited long before you knew that. but there's a strange rhythm sometimes to the way things work normally. we vote on a thursday and this week we ended up having the last vote on a wednesday, yesterday. we are going to be away for a week back in our state and then we will be back for three weeks in august which is unusual. usually both houses are back in their states by the districts in the month of august. i think some people probably think that's a a good thing to have senators here through august. others may not agree with that. so we will see how it works out. i'll give you a report on that next year, but i want to first
of all thank you for the work that you do. the difficult work that you do. i've got a challenging job. people always think because of what's happening around the country that our jobs are excruciating, pain filled days and really difficult. i've got a challenging job but i don't have a job as hard as yours. anyone who is a pilot, anyone who supports the work that you do has difficult jobs, and i'm grateful that you do that work. it's a job that marked by dedication and it is indeed a form of service. what's particularly noteworthy i think is your commitment to excellence. i just see it on, right behind it, train for life and that your training all the time, that you always improving, always trying to be the best. that commitment to excellence, that trading, that dedication, that professionalism allows us
that the safest skies in the world in the united states of america. i've been blessed to have the opportunity to work with you to advance policies that make your travel safer, including stopping the rollback of the 1500 hour in-flight training rule, and making sure -- [applause] >> and making sure that all airlines play by the same rules. and as tim and mentioned, want to talk about one issue, i wait for the end of my remarks to talk about that. i want to start though with the issue of secondary barriers. we've heard time and again from your membership, from alpa, about the importance of secondary very to ensure the safety of the cockpit door. your feedback has been instrumental in the think that's an understatement, and crafting the legislation, the aviation
safety act because named after as you know victor. victor, i know i met some pennsylvanians out in the lobby here and i know we had a number from philadelphia and even from bucks county. victor is from bucks county suburban philadelphia. he was a captain of united flight 175 which was hijacked and flown into the south tower of the world trade center. after 9/11 congress indeed took the right step in mandating the installation of reinforced cockpit doors to prevent terrorists from commenting planes and turning those same airplanes into missiles. that was the right thing to do, and it did make air travel safer. while this was certainly a step in the right direction, there are times when you as a pilot have to open the door, whether it's during a long flight to
take a break or to use restroom, or to receive meals. right now when this happens my distant is flight attendants stand in front of the cockpit door to act as a buffer or a deterrent. but we need secondary barriers. it's a simple as that. it's long, long overdue. [applause] >> we've had some bumps in the road, the legislative road, which is always difficult. this should be as difficult. there's no reason why we haven't, no reason why this should have passed already come despite the fact that it is been bipartisan, despite the fact that i work with people in both parties to get it done, it's taking too long. the barriers both cost-efficient and essential, and when you consider the cost of just right around $3500 a barrier, it makes no sense not to have it. we may have some light at the end of the tunnel.
i never want to overstate this because i've been in legislative battles or efforts where you're not at the one yard line, you at the half yard line and it takes forever to get into the end zone. sorry for the sports analogy but we have some eagles fams here so i wanted to say that. [laughing] so we are grateful for the work that brought us to this point. here's where we are. the senate is in the process of reauthorizing the faa bill, and that legislation we hope can get to the senate floor soon. that bill has language in it that requires airlines to install secondary barriers on all newly manufactured aircraft. so we will see when we get to by the end of this time. we've three weeks as is in august. we've got september, even into october even though it's an election year. the second issue is what your
captain mentioned earlier. it's, it has two parts to it. one is a passenger and that's real focus of the legislation but we also want to recognize what happens sometimes to flight attendants. but in terms of passengers, the problem of in-flight sexual-harassment and even graver than that, sexual assault. i've been engaged in this issue for years both in the context of this issue but also in the context of our college campuses. we got legislation passed a couple of years ago which impose upon colleges and universities more rules and requirements to do with sexual assault on campus. that's the long enough. it's been a law for a couple of years. to make sure we have the same measure of progress when it comes to what happens in flight. slate magazine did a report on this and quoted a woman by the name of dana, or should say a
woman referred to as data. dana was such assault on a long-distance flight from newark, new jersey, to frankfort, germany. she reported the incident to flight attendants. she was offered a seat, a new seat for several hours but she was only asked my flight attendants to return to her original seat next to her attacker for lending purposes. .. the fbi handled 40 cases involving sexual assault allegations on commercial aircraft in the year 2015.
58 cases in the january to september 2016 were still waiting for the2017 numbers so all of 2015, 40 cases . on nine-month .. in 2016, 58 cases. in 2017, the association of flightattendants conducted a survey about the prevalence of sexual assault on board an airplane . survey town, the attendants, survey found one out of five white attendance responded to the survey had experienced a report of passenger on passenger sexual assault. that's 20 percent. it so happens to be the same number that was recorded several times on college campuses reported by survivors of sexual assault.
here's the part about flight attendants, too. 68 percent of flight attendants experience some type of sexual harassment during their flying career goes over the life of that individual inquiry or so for the past 2 years, governor patty murray in our leadership in the state of washington, we've been working on a bill to solve this problem. we introduced senate bill 1605 stopping assault while flyingenforcement , the safe . the legislation was simplebut it's long overdue . the rest of the appropriate agencies, the transportation department, the department of justice to address gaps in three things. airline personnel training, data collection, number
three, timely reporting as it relates to sexual assault and harassment on airlines. i'm happy to say this distillation has the support of labor groups, organizations like alcohol, the association for flight attendants, communication workers of america, flyers rights, the national alliance to end actual violence. all passengers should be able to travel without the worry of being sexually assaulted. i've been working with my colleagues to pass legislation to continue to work with you to get it done. i want to thank you for this opportunity and what you've done to advance both safety and security of our airspace and i don't think we say that enough. we take it for granted and it happens every time we fly but your professionalism and training, your commitment to that excellence in airline safety is sometimes taken for
granted and we should remind ourselves how important it is. let me conclude with remarks about where we are in washington. i know you sometimes come to these gatherings in washington andyou have interaction with. capitol hill to discuss issues between and among yourselves . sometimes you may underestimate the impact you have on our work because you are the best advocates for your position, whether it's a worker issue or a safety issue or whatever it is but i also think you sometimes leave here and maybe especially more so when you are back home andyou're watching what's happening in washington, especially the last year and a half , and you wonder whether or not -- where we are going to go and whether we are going to survive as a republic. i don't think you should believe otherwise but there's a real concern about where we will end up after what we've seen in the last 18 months .
i've been through a lot of battles. i've been through a lot of legislative battles, a lot of elections and conflict. i've been in conflict and i've been punched pretty hard and i've punched others at times, of course figuratively speaking in the political context butas difficult as it's been , we will endure. this countryis strong enough, resilient enough and built to last . to use the expression from the television era. we will endure this period in our history one way or another,i'm not downplaying how difficult it is right now . i'm not underestimating the difficulty of digging out of
this,especially with regard to our relationship to other countries and other people around the world but also relationships with each other but we've had pretty difficult period's in the past . the most difficultobviously was the war when we literally broke apart and came back together but this is a pretty tough period . iwant to give you a sense of , a little bit of optimism because as much as we fought on some really big issues, i've had real battles with republicans for example as my party have on major issues. healthcare. on tax policy. we thought about judges, at least on the appellate court of the supreme court and all those fights are going to continue. and just speaking formyself, i will be unyielding in those fights . i'm just going to say it bluntly that i will continue to fight those battles. some days i'm not going to give in when they tried to
for one example, go over after medicaid. let's not even begin the discussion, i'm going to fight them. over and over is necessary but having said that, there are examples this year where i've been successful working with republicans and my party has as well and republicans have been working with us as well. a couple of examples because none of this gets reported today it happens until it's over . we just go back to fighting and division and there's not much coverage of all that you see on television but here's some examples because i think you should have some sense of balance about where it leaves the senate as i can't speak for the house, that's a different institution. i think it's an institution that had a lot of difficulty lately. let me give you an example. number one, the spending bill, the so-called omnibus. it's a terrible word that doesn't mean much but it's a spending bill for this era
and the two-year budget agreement receded it so we have a two-year agreement which washard to enter into , in this years pending bill for example, republicans in the senate wanted more defense spending.they wanted to increase defense spending by $80 billion. a lot of us agreed we need to spend more in our defense capabilities but we said well, if you're going to be 80 billion there, what about the non-defense side? all these critically important so-called domestic programs but some of them involve law enforcement but they also involve health care and education . we won. we won . we persuaded republicans to work within the same to increase health care block grants, highest one year increase ever, $2.4 billion. medical research got a good bump.
title i schools, kids who go to school in no income areas got a goodbump . our program got 610 billion. the opioid prices three hundred 10 billion. we prevented the administration from completely eliminating all the block grants for these communities. they wanted to get rid of $300 billion to rip away 165 million pennsylvania. i and others in both parties said no to that so we had a cooperative effort that led to a good result. not perfect, but a lot of important domestic priorities and investments. so that's a really good example. how about the farm bill? republicans could have gone the direction the house to where they use the farm bill as an opportunity to cut programs and most of the farm bill, the big spending is in
distribution. we worked out an agreement where the farm bill got through the senate without any opposition, very little opposition. how about daca? we heard about these young people promised by our government that we would take care of them. republicans, to their credit, not all of them but a good number ran forward based on the president's promise. he promised them to base. send me a bill and i'll sign and the second promise, we will take this bill as far right as you did this. a lot of negotiating and crafting a bill and of course they pulled the from under them so i want to highlight because it shows even on an aspect of immigration, we had some republicans working with us. obviously that didn't get done what was a noble effort
which should continue and i was meeting 2 weeks ago with a small group, not a biggroup a small group of a larger group of democrats . some republicans in the senate what to do immigration reform more wrongly like we did in2013 . which was stopped at that time in a manner that i don't want to remember but we 68 votes for that bill that's the last time we want to resuscitate effort to do comprehensive immigration reform . healthcare. life .we're divided on the review issue. but there was a tremendous effort made in 2017 to continue the 20 18th by conservative republicans and a lot of democrats saying we should stabilize the health insurance market. youmurray, center i mentioned earlier working with me on the airline , sexual assault bill. patty murray worked with her community, alarm center, the chairman and they did a stabilization bill.
they were headed down the path of getting that done and got interrupted. i will say who i think you can guess who interrupted but civilization of health insurance markets is important. it is bipartisan, despite the fact that we are divided on review versus no repeal. but i think there's some progress we can make their. technical education, not a really glitzy subject matter but training young people or giving them the kind of training they need in high schools and other settings and also in community colleges for the jobs of the future. that bill had not been reauthorized for 12 years. the president just signed into law yesterday, the day before tuesday was. and then on things like russia. we got a lot of additions with the administration on their approach to russia, obviously.
it's a source of great controversy but even on russia, where the president seems to be one place, a lot of republicans are deeply concerned about what's happening and the bipartisanship on russia sanctions last year , new russia sanctions, new ways to hold russia accountable on election interference and a lot of other things is the subject of partisan support. i say all that not debated the pictureeverything wonderful and we're all on each other, that's not true. we're still going but we're going to get through this . we're going to get through this and keep our country safe like you people are sky safe when you fly and we're going to build for the future, billable workforce work on raising wages and building a stronger middle-class. and it's never easy. this is particularly difficult. we never had a tranny in recent history been this difficult because all that had last 18 months and obviously more to come which
is in the month ahead but we are always in the process of forming a more perfect union. no one said that was going to be easy so as difficult as it's been, i think we will endure and i'm grateful to have your help to work through this important bill. thank you and god bless you. [applause] >> senator, thanks. without that optimism, motivation sometimes is hard to get in there and wait them out also. thanks for being a true pilot partisan. i'll turn the agenda over to mark is going to take us into our first. >>