In the News
Panama City News Herald
Apr 19 2017
“I think we all saw the horrible thing that was done ... to that gentleman who got dragged off the plane when he was already seated there,” Rep. Dunn said. “And the truth is that could happen to any one of us. ... I think there’s a fundamental issues of fairness and jurisprudence.”
PANAMA CITY — U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn focused on a trio of topics when he met Wednesday with members of the Bay County business community.
Dunn, R-Panama City, was the guest speaker at a monthly luncheon for the Bay Building Industries Association (BBIA), held at the Holiday Inn in Panama City, and he touched on three hot topics: making sure passengers aren’t kicked off airplanes, keeping a federal courthouse in Panama City and abolishing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Dunn started out by bringing up some issues he had in mind before opening the floor to questions.
Chief among the issues Dunn discussed was the Secure Equity in Airline Transportation (SEAT) Act, legislation he has introduced that would prevent airlines from bumping passengers off an overbooked flight if the passenger already has boarded. The SEAT Act is in response to the recent controversy over United Airlines forcibly removing a passenger from a flight, which sparked an international outcry.
“I think we all saw the horrible thing that was done ... to that gentleman who got dragged off the plane when he was already seated there,” Dunn said in a scrum with local press before the luncheon. “And the truth is that could happen to any one of us. ... I think there’s a fundamental issues of fairness and jurisprudence.”
The SEAT Act does not impede any airlines’ internal review or conflict with recently announced policy changes, and it is tailored to ensure law enforcement can act to remove a passenger who is a safety threat, according to a press release from Dunn’s office.
Dunn also spoke about efforts to keep a federal courthouse in Panama City amid concerns the Federal Court District would move it out of the area. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio recently spent time in Panama City to advise concerned locals on how to proceed with the issue, Dunn said.
“We have six counties full of people who are served by that federal courthouse,” Dunn said. “And if that closes, they are going to have to drive to Pensacola or Tallahassee to get a federal hearing. ... We might not be able to get witnesses in federal court.”
Dunn said he liked the chances of keeping the courthouse here and added he will be petitioning the court to do so. Moving the courthouse away would come at a huge cost to the federal government, he said.
Along with regional concerns, Dunn also addressed hot-button national topics, including doing away with Obamacare, which he said made employer-provided insurance and Medicaid more expensive. Congress failed in its initial attempts to reform care, Dunn said in reference to recent efforts to pass the Republican-backed American Health Care Act.
“We had a great thing going. We’re passing all our bills,” Dunn said. “We think we’re going to pass health care. We didn’t do it. But we’re going to take it up again.”
Another national issue Dunn talked about is business regulations, which Dunn said were being scaled away under Donald Trump and his presidential administration.