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General aviation relief bill in perilGeneral aviation relief bill in peril

Bush administration may prevent House actionBush administration may prevent House action

AOPA's Legislative Affairs staff has learned that the Bush administration is urging leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives not to allow a vote on the General Aviation Industry Reparations Act of 2001 (H.R.3347). A letter from Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta to House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) expresses concern with both the price and the scope of the bill. Congress expanded coverage beyond the original intended relief for small GA businesses, such as flight schools, increasing the cost of the package from $450 million to over $5 billion. AOPA President Phil Boyer remarked, "I am disappointed in the way the White House seems to be leaning; frankly the general aviation small businesses have at least the same claim to damages as the airlines." The bill's authors are currently attempting to negotiate a compromise with the administration. AOPA Legislative Affairs staff is working closely with the White House, DOT officials, as well as Capitol Hill staff, in an effort to encourage the two sides to come together to work out an agreement on new language that would assist small businesses.

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