"Both cities are home to integral elements of U.S. national defense and national security infrastructure.”
Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and John Cornyn (R-Texas) this week sent a letter to United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby in response to news that the company will be cutting service for airports in College Station and Killeen, Texas. In the letter, the lawmakers urge the company to resume flights to the area due to the vital role the cities play in American national security and Department of Defense partnerships as well as the growing economies of the communities.
The lawmakers also criticize the company for cutting service to these cities and other American communities after taxpayers provided the company with billions of dollars in relief funds last year.
Co-signers of the letter in the U.S. House of Representatives include Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), John Carter (R-Texas), and Roger Williams (R-Texas).
In the letter, the members wrote:
“To address the devastating and unprecedented impact of COVID-19, including on your industry, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020. At roughly $2.2 trillion, this measure was the largest emergency relief measure in U.S. history. As part of CARES, Congress created the Payroll Support Program (PSP) to provide a lifeline to the aviation industry in the form of direct assistance to passenger air carriers as grants, loans, and loan guarantees.”
“All told, PSP ended up costing the American taxpayer nearly $54 billion, with United receiving almost one-fifth of that total ($10,902,445,494) in PSP grants. Additionally, United was approved for a U.S. government loan for up to $7,491,000,000, with at least $520,000,000 drawn to date. Despite the generosity of the American taxpayers to provide significant assistance to United when the outlook for your company was most dire, within months of the start of an economic recovery, United announced its intent to cut air service to 11 cities beginning in 2022, including College Station, Texas and Killeen, Texas.
“In 2020, your industry was making the case for the important role the passenger air carriers play in support of national security. In 2021, United appears poised to follow through on a decision that will impose direct harm on U.S. national security interests by suspending service to College Station and Killeen. Both cities are home to integral elements of U.S. national defense and national security infrastructure.”
Read the full text of the letter here.