The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would double the security fee air travelers must pay on each flight, defeating an effort by Republican committee members to leave the fee unchanged.
The fee now stands at $2.50 per flight — so $5 total for a round-trip ticket. The aim is to eliminate a budget deficit for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), The Hill reports
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said that without the fee increase, all taxpayers would have to finance the TSA’s budget gap, arguing that those who rely on the TSA should finance it.
Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Dan Coats of Indiana sponsored an amendment to leave the fee alone and offset the revenue loss with reductions in state and local grants, emergency food and shelter funding, and funding for a highway interchange leading to the Homeland Security Department’s new headquarters.
The amendment lost on a 15-15 vote. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., joined Republicans to support it.
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