Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and her fellow senator's efforts to mount a new World War II memorial in Washington D.C. passed through the U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee last month.
The new memorial seeks to commemorate the estimated 18 million women who stayed behind during WWII and helped keep the nation afloat by working as "pilots, engineers, taxi drivers, letter carriers and code breakers," per Blackburn's office.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joins with Blackburn on the bipartisan bill, which also has support from Senator Mike Braun (R-IND) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
“There are more than 160 monuments in Washington, D.C., but not a single one celebrates the 18 million women that worked on the home front during World War II,” said Blackburn in a statement. “Their sacrifice and trailblazing work must not be forgotten. The bipartisan legislation I joined with Senator Duckworth to recognize their efforts is now one step closer to becoming law.”
Per Blackburn's office, The Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act would also "recognize the important role these women played in expanding economic opportunity for future generations of women. Between 1941 and 1945, the female portion of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent."
Blackburn joins Republican colleagues to raise age of eligible pilots
Senators Blackburn, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-A) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) have joined together to sponsor the Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act that aims to address airline flight cancellations caused by a shortage of pilots.
Per Blackburn's office, "with baby boomers making up half of the airline pilot population, roughly 5,000 fully qualified pilots will be forced to retire within the next two years and the problem will grow even more acute in the following years. The wave of forced pilot retirements continues even as hundreds of flights are being cancelled due to a shortage of available pilots and crews."
America has recently seen a bevy of flight cancellations sparked by pilot shortages, with varying factors to blame.
“America is facing a pilot shortage,” said Blackburn. “Current rules block experienced pilots from the workforce based solely on their age. This legislation will raise the maximum age to 67, helping to reduce the worker shortage, lower the number of canceled flights, and increase travel into states like Tennessee.”
Per the senator's office, Blackburn and company's bill aims to:
- raise the mandatory commercial pilot retirement age from 65 to 67
- require that pilots over the age of 65 maintain a first-class medical certification, which must be renewed every six months
- require air carriers to continue using pilot training and qualification programs approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Blackburn's office says the bill does not change or alter any other qualification – beyond age – to become a commercial airline pilot.