In 2009, General Aviation Caucuses were formed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to inform congressional members and staff about the importance of general aviation to the nation's economy and transportation system. Today, the House GA Caucus has grown to become one of the largest caucuses in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri) and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) take on the role of bipartisan co-chairs for the House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus, which begins the 114th session of Congress with a strong majority of 222 members.
“I am pleased to announce the reorganization of the House General Aviation Caucus,” Graves said. “It is also a privilege to welcome Rep. Marc Veasey, of Texas, as the new co-chair for the caucus. General aviation is not just about flying planes; it’s about creating good-paying jobs and economic opportunity, not only in states like Missouri and Texas, but all across the country. I look forward to working with members of the caucus, as well as our counterparts in the Senate, to ensure that we maintain and strengthen this vital industry.”
Graves and Veasey were appointed co-chairs on Jan. 23, and the House GA Caucus will play an important role in educating members of Congress about general aviation issues during this year’s Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization process. Graves served as House GA Caucus co-chair for the past Congress, and he also is a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee. Veasey replaces John Barrow (D-Georgia) as the other co-chair.
“I am very proud to join the House General Aviation Caucus as co-chairman and look forward to working with Congressman Graves to advance public knowledge and awareness about how important general aviation is to our economy and industrial base, totaling a more than $14 billion impact in Texas and over $150 billion nationally,” Veasey added. “Serving as co-chair of this caucus is a great honor, and I look forward to working with our members and affiliated industries to help reinforce the robust aviation legacy that many states across our country are so proud of.”
On Jan. 21, the bipartisan U.S. Senate GA Caucus named Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) as co-chairs. Boozman was a member of the GA Caucus during the last Congress, while Manchin is a longtime pilot.
“In Arkansas, general aviation airports support more than $500 million annually in economic activity, and nearly 10,000 Arkansans work in aviation and aerospace manufacturing – many of them in the general aviation sector,” Boozman said. “If you crunch the numbers, most of our colleagues would have a similar story to tell. For that reason, I am excited to work with Sen. Manchin to promote general aviation and share its importance with our colleagues.”
Sen. Boozman and Sen. Manchin replace Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), who led the 41-member Senate GA Caucus in the previous Congress but are no longer serving in the Senate.
“General aviation makes a tremendous impact on West Virginia’s economy and on our nation as a whole,” Manchin said. “The Mountain State’s aviation system alone supports more than 11,000 jobs in the state, and contributes about $616 million to our economy. As a pilot myself, it has always been a top priority of mine to address the unique challenges faced by the general aviation sector, and to foster business growth and job creation through this growing industry. It is a privilege to join Sen. Boozman as a leader of the General Aviation Caucus, and I look forward to promoting the importance of general aviation in the 114th Congress.”