March 11, 2019

Duckworth, Ernst Announce Creation of Global Positioning System (GPS) Caucus

Senators, colleagues also introduced a resolution recognizing the positive impacts of the GPS constellation


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) today announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Global Positioning System (GPS) Caucus. The Caucus will focus on discussing the economic, national security and infrastructure benefits of increasingly efficient GPS technology, as well as the risks and oversight challenges that face the GPS industry. Aspects of GPS fall under several Senate committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“GPS has proven to be an invaluable tool in making our transportation systems more efficient and more secure,” said Duckworth. “This technology has the potential to further improve our nation’s military readiness, infrastructure and agricultural production, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to maintain and promote effective oversight of this technology.”

“In 1978 the U.S. Air Force launched its first GPS satellite; now, 41 years later, we’re continuing to see the tremendous impact of this resource,” Ernst said. “From Iowa’s agriculture industry that depends on GPS for weather mapping and crop projections, to our military personnel needing the most reliable data, GPS has been a strong contributor to our nation’s security and growth.”

U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Representatives Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Don Bacon (R-NE) also joined Duckworth and Ernst in introducing a resolution recognizing the contributions and importance of the GPS constellation, which contributes an estimated $68.7 billion to the U.S. economy. GPS-enabled precision agriculture is estimated to save farmers 10 to 15 percent in operating costs – leading to an estimated $13.7 billion in economic benefits to the farming industry. GPS impacts nearly all levels of infrastructure in the U.S., including: air, ground and sea transportation systems; with additional support for land surveying and mapping sectors.

“GPS has been an important tool for safely getting passengers from one location to another, but is beneficial to many different sectors including defense and infrastructure. GPS is also being used throughout rural communities and on farms as the use of precision agriculture continues to grow,” said Loebsack. “By forming this caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues to expand and promote the use of this technology.”

“As a 30-year Air Force veteran, I take an immense amount of pride in the GPS constellation our country operates,” said Bacon. “More than 12,000 miles away, these incredible satellites not only enable our national security but they also power every sector of the American economy.”