News Releases

Final Senate Appropriations Bill Retains Murray Airline Workers Amendment

Apr 03 2003

Additional 26 weeks of unemployment assistance for workers in the airline and related industries; $375 million for airport security improvements

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On a 93-0 vote, the U.S. Senate has passed an $80 billion Supplemental Appropriations Bill that would provide unemployment assistance for thousands of Washington state airline industry workers. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) authored the worker assistance amendment and persuaded her colleagues in the Republican-controlled Senate to accept the provision, which provides unemployment insurance for as many as 200,000 laid-off workers in the airline and related industries nationwide.

To the original $2.8 billion airline assistance package, Murray's amendment added:

- $225 million to provide an additional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance for workers in the airline and related industries.

- $100 million more than the original $900 million in the bill to reimburse airlines for federally-mandated security requirements, like reinforcing cockpit doors, employee credentialing, employee fingerprinting and background checks, and other new costs since 9/11.

- $375 million to reimburse airports for operating and capital security costs including infrastructure, perimeter security and other expenses so that airports won't pass those costs on to the struggling airlines.

"This is great news for thousands of Washington state's aviation workers who have suffered from the downturn in air travel," said Murray. "Since the war in Iraq began, 10,000 more aviation workers have lost their jobs."

"Airline workers have had to endure a 'perfect storm' of September 11th, the economic downturn, the war in Iraq, and now the SARS virus. I hope that in the final bill, Congressional leaders will not turn their back on our workers," Murray continued.