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"Calls to Senators Needed - Last Chance for Security Reimbursement"

Wednesday, December 5, 2001 

Calls to Senators Needed - Last Chance for Security Reimbursement

As we've reported, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY
2002 Department of Defense Appropriations bill which includes an
amendment offered by Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) that adds $15
billion in emergency spending to the bill.  Senate consideration of the
bill could happen this week.

Among other measures, the Byrd package includes $238 million for
aviation security; $200 million of that amount would be used to
reimburse airports for their increased security costs such as paying for
additional law enforcement officials.  (For a copy of the text on the
$200 million for airports, click
http://www.airportnet.org/depts/federal/legis107/byrdamend.pdf). The
amendment also includes an additional $57 million for the Essential Air
Service program, bringing the total for the EAS program to $120 million
in FY02.

Although the Committee passed the amendment by a voice vote, final
inclusion of the $15 Byrd package faces an uphill fight on the Senate
floor and in conference.  Republican leaders are expected to fight to
strike the Byrd package from the bill when it hits the Senate floor, and
the President has threatened to veto the DOD bill if it contains the
extra spending.

The Byrd package is our last chance for federal reimbursement for
airports for security related expenses.  Please contact your Senators
now and ask them to support efforts to reimburse airports for new
security costs and oppose any attempts to strike the Byrd package from
the FY02 DOD Appropriations bill.  Below are talking points to use in
contacting your delegations.

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 consider the FY02 DOD
Appropriations bill. Specifically, I am asking that you support Sen.
Byrd's $15 billion homeland security proposal, which contains $200
million to reimburse airports for increased security costs, and oppose
any attempts to strike the package from the bill.

*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 does not
include the necessary appropriations to reimburse airports for deploying
more law enforcement officials. 

*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 receive federal reimbursement for security costs in
order to deploy more law enforcement officials and pay for other new
operational expenses stemming from the terrorist attacks. 

*Thank you for your consideration of this request. 

Again, final inclusion of the Byrd package remains a long-shot, but our
chances of securing federal reimbursement for airports will greatly
depend on whether or not Senators hear from you.  Thanks!

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