Sunday, October 31, 2004

Why weaken an anti-terrorism measure? Follow the money.

The Daily DeLay: T-Minus 2 Days and Counting
Did Tom DeLay Weaken an Anti-Terrorism Measure to Help Out His Donors?

[Campaign Money Watch is running a radio ad about this.]

In 2003, Congress debated and passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act. President George W. Bush signed it into law on Dec. 12, 2003.

The initial version of the legislation, as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, included language mandating flight attendants to obtain security training in the post-9/11 environment. The measure was supported by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and it direct the federal officials to establish minimum guidelines for security training that all flight attendants would be required to complete.

But, according to the AFA, as the compromise was hammered out between the House and the Senate, a provision that weakened the security training -- by making it voluntary, not mandatory -- was "ordered to be inserted" by DeLay.

Airlines ad opposed the requirement, complaining about its cost, and they apparently found an ally in the Majority Leader. "Found" may be the wrong word. The airline industry has contributed $159,000 since 1997 to Tom DeLay's congressional candidate committee.

In a post-9/11 world, flight attendants said at the time that for some of them, the only option is to pay for the security training out of their own pockets.


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