Rep. John Rose Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues Urging Reopening of International Travel

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Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) tweeted Monday in support of a bipartisan group of fellow congresspersons asking President Joe Biden to more quickly reopen travel to the U.S.

“We should fully reopen international travel to the U.S.,” Rose wrote. “I joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge President Biden to reopen travel to the U.S. in order to accelerate our economic recovery.”

In a July 7 letter to the president, eight U.S. representatives cited data indicating the American economy may lose $175 billion in 2021 and fail to restore over one million American jobs if travel to the U.S. is disallowed to increase. 

The letter’s signatories authors are Representatives Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Carlos A. Giménez (R-FL-26), Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2), Dina Titus (D-NV-1), Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7). 

The representatives noted the progress that has been made so far in getting most Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19. At its writing, more than half of U.S. adults had received the vaccine. Despite a decline since mid-April, the U.S. now averages well over 500,000 vaccinations per day. Signatories expressed optimism that 70 percent of Americans over the age of 12 may be vaccinated by the end of this month. 

“With science and data continuing to lead the way,” the representatives wrote, “it is now possible to plan for and begin a safe reopening on international travel to the U.S.” 

These lawmakers identify a number of actions they hope the White House will soon take. They include permitting air travel between the U.S. and Canada as well as restarting legal border crossings between the two nations, restarting travel between America and the United Kingdom, creating a science-driven roadmap to lighten entry restrictions, and making visa processing sites more fully operational. 

“By taking these steps,” the letter said, “your administration can both protect public health and safety, and accelerate economic recovery and rehiring in the hard-hit travel industry.”

Before the novel coronavirus hit, the representatives wrote, foreign travel to America added $234 in annual income to the nation’s economy and sustained 1.2 million U.S. jobs.

Despite calling for a freer market in travel, the congresspersons have not advocated for ceasing all COVID-regulations right away. They touted the requirements that those coming into the U.S. get COVID-tested and that air travelers wear masks.

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Bradley Vasoli is a reporter at the Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected]. 

 

 

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