[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

         

"House Passes Airport Security Bill - Republican Bill Narrowly Prevails"



Title: Message
Thursday, November 1, 2001
 
House Passes Airport Security Bill – Republican Bill Narrowly Prevails
AAAE/ACI-NA
 

After weeks of building drama and a day of contentious debate, the House of Representatives has finally passed airport security legislation by a 286 - 139 margin. The overwhelming nature of the final vote does not reflect how closely divided the House was on the competing proposals, which differed on the key item of whether or not to "federalize" airport security screeners. Earlier, Republicans narrowly defeated the Senate-passed bill, which was offered as the Democratic substitute, on a razor-thin 218-214 margin. As you will recall, the Senate bill requires screeners to be federal workers except at non-hub airports, which would be required to use local or state law enforcement officials for screening to be reimbursed by the federal government. All screening functions would be under the control of the Justice Department under the Senate bill.

As we previously reported, the House Democrats’ strategy was to offer the Senate-passed bill, figuring that it would be difficult to vote against legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate. They further argued that passing the Senate-passed bill would avoid a contentious House/Senate conference and move the legislation directly to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The strategy did help bring several Republican votes, but in the end it was not enough to sway the vote to the Democrats’ favor.

Now, the bill moves to a House/Senate conference, which promises to be equally controversial. From the airport perspective, the House-passed bill is far from perfect. In addition to a lack of mandated funding for law enforcement and other security-related expenses, House Republicans added several provisions in the final hours that require airports to meet with airport tenants to discuss potential rent adjustments as a condition of receiving funds that are authorized (but not appropriated) as part of the bill. Other key provisions – both positive and negative – are detailed below.

There is good news, however, in the fact that we now have additional time to continue pushing for airport priorities and to fix negative provisions. We will follow-up with a more detailed explanation of the exact changes we will be pursuing as part of the conference report in a future Alert, but in the meantime you should be sharpening your pencils and warming up your voice in preparation to contact your elected officials to make yet another run at pushing for critical airport changes.

The key provisions of the bills moving to conference are below:

H.R. 3150 – The Airport Security Federalization Act (Passed by the House on 11/1/01)

Airport Expenses/Funding

Security Screeners

Background Checks/Perimeter, Secure Area Access/Airport Requirements

Other Important Provisions

S. 1447 – The Aviation Security Act (Passed by Senate on 10/11/01)

Airport Expenses/Funding

Security Screeners

Background Checks/Perimeter, Secure Area Access/Airport Requirements

Other Important Provisions


Current CAA news channel: