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Airline Security Bill Passed in House

November 02, 2001  | 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The state of airline security is uncertain as the House has passed its own airline security bill, very different from the version passed by the Senate 100 to 0. It remains to be seen what will actually be enacted after the Senate and the House sit down to reconcile the two bills. After weeks of negotiations, the House of Representatives finally approved the GOP version of the aviation security bill, calling for no federal screeners at airports. The main bill passed easily, but the provision for creating a federalized work force won by just four votes, 218-214. The bill provides for enhanced security on the ground and in the air, with provisions for new air marshals, more secure cockpit doors and a new influx of privately-hired, federally supervised airport security employees. That final provision was the object of the month-long debate, with Democrats arguing that screening and hiring airport security workers as federal employees is the only way to ensure public safety. Republicans objected, arguing instead that allowing private firms to hire their own workers is a far more efficient way to address safety concerns. In either case, airport security guards will be seeing more changes to their jobs and workplace in the near future. The House bill, which contradicts the Senate version only on the federalized worker issue, now heads to committee, where both sides will attempt to hammer out a compromise.

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