Mr. President, I'm here to speak in support of the travel promotion act. I first want to thank Senator Dorgan, the senator from North Dakota. I have visited the Teddy Roosevelt Park. And I want to thank him for his great leadership on this bill over many years. I also want to thank Senator Ensign for his leadership. I believe this legislation will help our economy to do better to create jobs without any taxpayer expense. As the chair of the commerce subcommittee that is includes tourism, I recently held a hearing, a well-attended hearing with many senators and people there to examine the state of our tourism industry during these troubled economic times. I want to thank my ranking Republican, Senator Martinez. We did it together. And I also held a field hearing in Duluth, Minnesota, to highlight the importance of tourism to mid-sized and smaller towns in the United States. During the hearings, we heard the importance of tourism and travel to our economy and the urgent need to increase international travel to the United States. As you know coming from Colorado, the presiding officer, Senator Udall, America has so much to offer our travelers, whether it is the mountains of Colorado, or as Senator Kaufman is here, the beaches of Delaware, whether it's stunning national landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty, whether it's our oceans, our lakes, our rivers, our mountains, forests and beaches, whether it's the scenic country towns or the bright lights of the big cities, and whether it's centers of fun and entertainment, like Las Vegas or Disney World or Duluth, from the heartland to the coast, every state has an economic stake in the tourism industry, which is now a major part of the American economy. Throughout the United States, many communities have discovered and developed economic potential. I keep using the example of Duluth because at some point in the 1970's, the economy was so bad there, they actual had a billboard so that when you drove out of town, it said, "the last one to leave, please turn off the lights." Well, that billboard isn't there anymore. As tourism is a beautiful part of their economy, with beautiful Lake Superior, beautiful museums and aquarium, children's museum and it's really changed the life of that town. Tourism creates good jobs that can't be outsourced. One out of every eight Americans is employed in our travel economy. Each year, travel and tourism contribute approximately $1.3 trillion to the American economy and international visitors, as Senator Dorgan just noted, spend an average of $4,500 per person. In economic terms, international tourism to the U.S. counts as an export. Instead of shipping our product to a customer overseas, the customer is coming here to spend money on our goods and our services. Last year, travel and tourism experts accounted for 8% of all U.S. exports. 26% of all U.S. service exports. In fact, tourism is one of the few economic sectors where we enjoy a substantial trade surplus. Travel is a part of the fabric of our state and our country and over the past decade, we know it's been stretched to the brink. While more people around the world are traveling, a smaller percentage of them are visiting the United States. Now, this isn't just about our -- our troubled economy right now. This was going on long before. It actually started after 9/11, where for good reason security measures were put in place. But some of those good reasons have turned into very difficult times for tourists to come over and that needs to be fixed. That's part of this bill, to make it easier for tourists to visit our country. Since 2000, the U.S. share of the world travel market has decreased by nearly 20%, costing us hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. Last year, nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost. The commerce department predicts that we'll lose another 247 jobs this year. Remember, this isn't about airport CEOs. This is about the -- the people that -- the janitors that work at the airports, this is about the maids that are doing the beds, this is about the waitresses that are working at the restaurants of course, this is about the people that do the flowers for the hotels and for the banquets and for the business traveler. These are real jobs in America. This has always been a country that opened its arms to people from around the world. That's why we're so great and we have to bring that back. We have to bring people in to visit this country. The travel promotion act will do just that, and by boosting travel to the U.S., it will give a boost to our economy. So it's a win-win for the tourism industry, for jobs for America, and for the American people. Senator Dorgan went through the bill. I did want to emphasize that not only will this consist of travel promotion and promoting our country like other countries have been doing for years and been leapfrogging us in this market. Additionally, this legislation will establish the Office of Travel Promotion in the Department of Commerce to work with the office of travel promotion and the secretaries of state and homeland security to encourage travel and to make sure that international visitors are processed efficiently. It doesn't cost taxpayers a cent, as Senator Dorgan pointed out, and economists expect it should generate billions for our economy. According to the analysis by Oxford economists, this tourism program is estimated to attract 1.6 million new international visitors annually and create $4 billion in new spending in our country, creating 40,000 new jobs. We know we need to bring back business travel. We shouldn't let a few bad actors influence the decisions of good companies around this country. We know that we have to look this summer for affordable deals for families and people staying close to home. We want our Minnesotans to go fishing in Minnesota. Mr. President, I would love to ask you if you know how much money alone people spend in Minnesota on bait and worms every year. Well, I will tell you the answer. It's probably never been uttered before in this chamber. $50 million a year, Minnesotans and visitors to our state spend $50 million a year on bait and worms for recreational fishing. Just to give you an idea of what we're talking about when we talk about tourism spending. I strongly urge my colleagues -- I strongly urge my colleagues to support this important piece of legislation. I'm proud to be a cosponsor and look forward to working on this bill on the floor in the days to come. That's the conclusion of my remarks. I ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each.