Republican Congressmen backed by airline money kill research on legroom and passenger safety

Rep. Rodney Davis [R-IL]'s campaign was backed by American, Continental, Delta, Jetblue, and Southwest as well as airline PACs; airlines were the largest donor to Rep. Bill Shuster [R-PA]'s campaign, together, the two led a House Transportation Committee vote against a government study on the effects of passenger legroom on aviation safety, laughing at the idea that close-packed seats might make it hard to evacuate a plane.

"I see we have some different size seats here in the House," joked Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Illinois. "Mr. Chairman has a larger seat, do you think the House Administration Committee should study seat sizes here?"

Cohen was not amused. "We're not in airplanes that are crashing and having 180 people trying to get off at one time to get to a ramp to save their life," Cohen replied. "This is not about seats here, Mr. Davis….This is not a funny issue."

Backed by Airline Dollars, Congress Rejects Effort to Address Shrinking Legroom [Zaid Jilani/The Intercept]

(Image: Pasajeros, Daniel Lobo, CC-BY; Flaming Gold, Palo, CC-BY)