The House General Aviation Caucus will have a mix of experienced and new leadership during the 114th Congress as Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) take on the role of bipartisan co-chairs. The caucus begins the new Congress with 222 members.
The congressmen announced Jan. 23 that they would lead the House GA Caucus, which will play an important role in educating members of Congress about general aviation issues during the 2015 FAA reauthorization process.
Graves, a pilot, AOPA member, and original co-sponsor of legislation to reform the third class medical, has served as House GA Caucus co-chair for the past four years. He is also a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee.
Veasey, who replaces AOPA member John Barrow (D-Ga.), also supported third class medical reform legislation in the last Congress.
“Rep. Graves has consistently been one of general aviation’s strongest supporters in Congress and we are delighted to see him returning as co-chair of the House General Aviation Caucus,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “As a longtime pilot, he brings a deep understanding and real-world perspective to the issues that affect GA. We welcome Rep. Veasey to the Caucus, and as a Texan with strong interest in aviation issues, he understands the value of general aviation for transportation, business, and economic development. We look forward to working with them both.”
Texas is one of the most active states in the nation for general aviation and is home to more than 27,000 AOPA members while Missouri has nearly 6,000 AOPA members. Taken together, general aviation has an annual economic impact of $15.5 billion and supports more than 63,000 jobs in the two states.
Earlier in the week, the Senate GA Caucus announced that Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), both staunch supporters of general aviation, would serve as caucus co-chairs. Boozman introduced third class medical reform legislation in the Senate and was a member of the GA Caucus during the last Congress. Manchin, who previously served as the governor of West Virginia, is a longtime pilot and AOPA member.