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"Contact your delegations in support of federal reimbursement for airports"



Tuesday, November 21, 2001

Contact your delegations in support of federal reimbursement for
airports 
AAAE/ACI-NA


As lawmakers head to their districts for the Thanksgiving recess, we
wanted to remind you that this is a perfect opportunity to contact your
delegations in support of federal reimbursement for airport security
costs.  If you are talking to your House members, remind them of the
need to reimburse airports for additional security costs and urge them
to support efforts to provide a federal reimbursement to airports.  

If you are talking to your Senators, we specifically ask that you urge
them to support an effort from Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert
Byrd to provide $1 billion for airports as part of his homeland security
amendment to the economic stimulus package.  Background on the economic
stimulus package and talking points on the issue are below.

Background

Late last month, the House of Representatives approved an economic
stimulus bill that includes $99.5 billion in tax cuts next year. As it
did with aviation security, the Democratic-controlled Senate is taking a
different approach.  In early November, the Senate Finance Committee
approved its own $67 billion economic stimulus plan that includes funds
for tax relief and for assistance to laid-off workers. The Senate has
started debate on the bill, but the bill currently does not have the
necessary votes to pass.  The Senate is expected to resume debate on the
economic stimulus bill after lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving
break. 

Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), the powerful Chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee, is proposing that the Senate add $20 billion
to economic stimulus bill to strengthen homeland security and stimulate
the economy. His package includes $2.5 billion for highway projects,
$2.3 billion for mass transit security, and $1 billion for aviation
security. From conversations that we have had with Byrd's staff, it is
unclear whether airports will be able to use those funds for operational
purposes such as paying for additional law enforcement officials or for
security-related capital accounts only. 

Request: We are recommending that you contact your Senators as soon as
possible and ask them to: 1) support Sen. Byrd's homeland security
proposal when the Senate resumes consideration of the economic stimulus
bill; and 2) to use $1 billion of that additional spending to reimburse
airports for their new security requirements such as deploying more law
enforcement officials. 

Talking Points for Contacting Your Senators

*I am calling to thank you for supporting our airport in the past and to
ask for your help again as the Senate prepares to resume consideration
of the economic stimulus bill. Specifically, I am asking that you
support Sen. Byrd's homeland security proposal and to use $1 billion of
that additional spending to reimburse airports for their new security
requirements such as deploying more law enforcement officials. 

*After the terrorist attacks on September 11, the FAA immediately
required airports to deploy more law enforcement officials and take
other steps to improve aviation security. These new security
requirements are expected to cost airports in your state and around the
country $1 billion next year. 

*The aviation security bill that the President signed into law earlier
this week does not include the necessary appropriations to reimburse
airports for deploying more law enforcement officials. However, Sen.
Robert Byrd is proposing $1 billion for airport security as part of his
$20 billion homeland security package. 

*Sen. Byrd will offer his homeland security proposal as an amendment to
the economic stimulus bill currently under consideration in the Senate.
On behalf of airports in your state, I am requesting you support Senator
Byrd's homeland security proposal and do everything you can to ensure
that airports can use $1 billion of that package to deploy more law
enforcement officials and other new operational expenses stemming from
the terrorist attacks. 

*Thank you for your consideration of this request. 

Again, though securing a reimbursement for airports through the economic
stimulus package is a long-shot, our chances of receiving funding will
depend on how many Senators have heard from their airports.  Thanks!

   Post your comments in the CAA Legislative Forum
http://www.californiaaviation.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?conf=DCConfID5

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