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"Young/Mica Press Conference and Garvey Speech to National Press Club"



Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Young/Mica Press Conference and Garvey Speech to National Press Club 
AAAE/ACI-NA


Young/Mica Press Event

As we reported earlier, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman
Don Young (R-AK) and House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica
(R-FL) outlined their aviation security bill called the "Secure
Transportation for America Act." Young and Mica were joined by other
Republicans on the House T&I Committee as well as representatives from
the Aviation Security Association, which represents screening companies.

Chairman Young said he was "frustrated and a little hostile" that
progress on the bill was being delayed on the airport screener issue and
accused the Senate and House Democrats of playing politics. Young also
emphasized that his bill addresses security for all forms of
transportation and said the measure was carefully researched instead of
a "knee-jerk" reaction to the security crisis. He added that the Senate
"didn't do themselves any favors" by passing its aviation security bill
and indicated he thought the Senate bill only provided security "window
dressing." Young said the bill would probably not go through the
Committee and would head straight to the House Rules Committee. He said
he expected movement on the bill when the House returns next week. (The
House adjourned today to sweep House offices buildings for anthrax.)

Chairman Mica said the bill was approached in a bipartisan manner but
that the one main difference between the Republican and Democratic House
bills was the treatment of airport screeners since the Republican bill
did not require all security screeners to be federal employees. When
asked, Chairman Young said he envisioned security screeners of the
future to be held to higher standards such as higher education, a more
rigorous background check and citizenship. In addition, Young said he
envisioned that screeners would make roughly $32,000 per year. According
to GAO, screeners at the 19 largest airports are paid $6 an hour or
less. You can access the bill text, a bill summary, a side-by-side of
the differences between current law and the House and Senate versions
and copies of both Young and Mica's remarks by visiting the AAAE/ACI-NA
Legislative Index on http://www.airportnet.org/depts/federal/legis107/. 

This afternoon, key Senate bill supporters Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) joined several Members of the House of
Representatives at a press conference focused on urging the House
Leadership to take up and pass the Senate-passed aviation security bill.
Reps. Greg Ganske (R-IA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) have
introduced a senate-like bill in the House and were at the press
conference to push for approval of their bill which requires all
screeners to be federal employees. A handful of Republican lawmakers
have cosponsored the bill, H.R. 2951.

Video clips from the Young/Mica press conference are available on the
AAAE/ACI-NA Legislative website at
http://www.airportnet.org/depts/federal/press/video.htm#bn.

Garvey Speech to Press Club 

Also today, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey addressed the National Press
Club on the "New World of Aviation." After outlining the action taken by
the DOT and FAA on September 11, Garvey said that the FAA was taking a
multi-level approach toward improving aviation security. The first
security level, according to Garvey, was better identification of
threats through information sharing and better background checks of
airline and airport employees. Garvey announced that she was directing
that criminal history checks be done on all airline and airport
employees with access to secure areas. The second level is screening to
prevent access to an airplane and the third level is preventing
unauthorized access to the cockpit, Garvey said. 

When asked who was to blame the September 11 attacks, Garvey responded
by saying that it was a "collective failure." She also said that she has
reason to believe that other hijackings were thwarted because of the
ground-stop. Garvey said the FAA was working to expand the Air Marshal
program and that the program had been "dramatically increased" since the
terrorist attacks. She also added that they are considering allowing
members of the National Guard to be used at other airport areas. 

Video clips of Garvey's speech are available on
http://www.airportnet.org/depts/federal/press/video.htm.

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