May 21, 2019

Duckworth’s Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing Importance of GPS Constellation Passes Senate Unanimously


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s (D-IL) resolution recognizing the positive impacts of the Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation, which contributes an estimated $68.7 billion to the U.S. economy, passed the Senate unanimously today. Duckworth introduced the resolution along with U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).  A companion resolution was recently introduced by U.S. Representatives Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Don Bacon (R-NE).

“GPS has proven to be an invaluable tool for everyone from our troops in Kabul to farmers in Southern Illinois to everyday commuters all across our nation,” said Duckworth. “I’m glad the Senate has now formally recognized the positive benefits of this technology, as well as the potential it has to further improve our nation’s military readiness, infrastructure and agricultural production, and so much more.

“From supporting our farmers to enhancing our transportation infrastructure, GPS is a vital tool that has bolstered our economy in New Hampshire and across the country,” Hassan said. “GPS is also critical for our servicemembers who dedicate their lives to protecting our country, and I am pleased that the Senate has formally recognized the importance of this technology.”

“Any American who has checked the weather on their phone or planned a road trip has benefited from GPS technology,” Merkley said. “This system has proven to be an invaluable tool for U.S. defense capabilities and our farmers alike, and has grown the American economy by over $65 billion dollars. It’s time for Congress to honor the women and men of the Air Force who paved the way for many more GPS innovators—including those at the Garmin AT facility in Salem, Oregon—when they launched the first GPS satellite 41 years ago.”

“Our nation’s military and Iowa’s agriculture industry rely upon GPS,” Ernst said. “I’m glad to see the Senate unanimously recognize this important resource and its strong contribution to our nation’s security and growth.”

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.

Duckworth and Joni Ernst (R-IA) also announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Global Positioning System (GPS) Caucus in March. The Caucus is focused 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.