$3bil approved for airline aid

Aug 20, 2002
Airlines win fed help

Senate and House each OK more than $3B in aid, despite administration objections.
April 4, 2003: 9:49 AM EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite White House objections, the U.S. Congress approved more than $3 billion in aid for airlines still reeling since the Sept. 11 attacks and facing more losses due to war in Iraq.

A $3.2 billion plan in the House of Representatives and a $3.5 billion proposal in the Senate cleared the respective chambers easily late Thursday as components of separate legislation for Iraq war spending.

The Bush administration called the price tag of each plan excessive, and was expected to push its views on negotiators from each house who now will decide the scope of assistance.

We are creating, unless we change this process, an Amtrak in the air, warned Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, referring to the money-losing passenger railroad that depends on government funding for its survival.

For instance, both plans would suspend certain fees for aviation security for six months, saving the carriers $900 million. But the House offers a retroactive fee reimbursement to significantly boost the amount of money each airline would receive.

A big-ticket component of the Senate package would freeze premiums for high-end liability insurance, extend unemployment benefits for out-of-work airline employees, and reimburse airports for some security expenses.

Amtrak of the air indeed. Question: how many posters here have ever ridden Amtrak? When and where?

Personally I''ve ridden from Chicago-Vegas.

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