Murray Airline Industry Workers Amendment Flies Through Senate Appropriations Committee Markup

Apr 01 2003

Murray amendment included: $225 million for airline workers and related industries, $100 million more for airlines, $375 million for airports

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has succeeded in adding a provision to extend unemployment insurance to workers in the airline and related industries who have been hardest hit by the downturn in air travel. The provision, which could help as many as 200,000 men and women, was added to an airline assistance package in the FY 2003 Senate Supplemental Appropriations bill.

Murray's provision added:

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

- $100 million 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.

"This is great news for those who have been hardest hit by the downturn in air travel – the men and women who keep the industry running," said Murray. "While Congress provides assistance to airlines, we cannot forget the men and women whose lives and livelihoods have been directly impacted by the downturn."

Murray's amendment added $700 million to Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-Ak.) airline assistance package, to bring the total up to $3.5 billion. The next step is a House-Senate conference committee where Sen. Murray is optimistic that her colleagues will retain the important aid for workers.