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ICYMI: Rubio Champions Families Against Airline Special Interests

Apr 11, 2023 | Press Releases

Congress must choose families over airline special interests
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
April 11, 2023
The Hill

For those unfamiliar with the term, “lap-baby” refers to an infant who is held on his or her parent’s lap rather than in a car seat that requires the purchase of an extra plane ticket. This practice is legal under current FAA regulations…. But the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA wants lawmakers to ban it, insisting on “a seat for every soul.” 

Lobbyists claim such a ban would increase safety…. In fact, enacting a ban could increase America’s annual infant death rate. One study that considered the implications of “a seat for every soul” found requiring child-restraint systems on airplanes “might cause an increase in motor vehicle deaths if many families switched to travel by car rather than paying additional fares for their young children”….

Our culture is constantly sending other signals that children are a burden—that the good life ends when you become a parent…. According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, only 23 percent of Americans under 30 believe having children is very important. That is a near-death sentence for our society, which is built on the institution of the family and relies on children for its future existence and strength.

In response, we should be doing everything in our power to promote parenting and support child-rearing…. Forcing already-struggling families to pay an extra $500 or $1,000 to board a plane, on the contrary, would reinforce the message that children are a burden and an unwelcome nuisance in the public square….

Our focus must be on fixing systemic flaws in the airline market and preventing literal plane wrecks, not arbitrarily increasing the burden on working families. If Congress allows the latter to distract it from the former, it will show a greater loyalty to lobbyists and unions than to the American people.

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