The House and Senate have named their conferees to negotiate aviation security legislation, and their first meeting on the legislation will be held today at 4 p.m. in the Capitol.
After learning that AOPA member Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) was named to the conference committee, AOPA Legislative Affairs staff immediately contacted the congressman's office to discuss Senator Herb Kohl's (D-Wis.) harmful amendment to GA that exists in the Senate version of the legislation.
Congressman Ehlers' staff indicated that he opposes the Kohl amendment and plans to work on having it removed from the final bill. All of the House aviation security conferees were sent a letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer urging that Senator Kohl's amendment be deleted from the bill. The amendment would force the FAA to implement a security program for aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less. Chairman Young has also spoken against this amendment.
Negotiating on behalf of the House GOP will be Chairman Young, Transportation aviation subcommittee Chairman John Mica (Fla.), AOPA member Vernon Ehlers (Mich.), John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.), and Tom Petri (Wis.).
Minority Leader Gephardt named to the conference committee Transportation Committee ranking Democrat James Oberstar (Minn.), Transportation aviation subcommittee ranking Democrat William Lipinski (Ill.), and Peter DeFazio (Ore.).
Senate Democratic conferees are Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman Ernest F. Hollings (S.C.), also the conference chairman; subcommittee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.); Daniel K. Inouye (Hawaii); John F. Kerry (Mass.); John B. Breaux (La.); Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.); and Ron Wyden (Ore.).
Republican Senate conferees are Commerce ranking Republican John McCain (Ariz.), subcommittee ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Minority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.), Ted Stevens (Alaska), Conrad Burns (Mont.), and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).