The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a fee hike for airline passenger security, as the Democrat-controlled panel said the increase was necessary to close a budget shortfall within the Transportation Security Administration.
The 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill would hike the passengers’ security fee from $2.50 to $5. Democrats on the panel said it was better to charge passengers who utilized TSA for airline security than taxpayers as a whole, The Hill newspaper reported.
The measure would raise $315 million annually, said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Dan Coats of Indiana sponsored an amendment to strip the fee out of the Homeland Security bill and replace it with spending cuts “to state and local grants, emergency food and shelter funding, and dropping $89 million in funding for a new highway interchange leading to the Homeland Security’s new headquarters in southeast Washington, D.C.,” the paper said.
The amendment was defeated on a 15-15 vote. Republicans were joined by Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Also Tuesday, the panel voted unanimously, 30-0, to approve the 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill, traditionally one of the least controversial of all appropriations bill.
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