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Old 10-16-2002, 12:37 AM   #1
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Airlines spending millions to influence Congress

Airlines spending millions to influence Congress

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Airlines are paring flights and employees -- but not their spending to influence Congress.

The industry received $15 billion in grants and loan guarantees from Congress after the September 11 attacks and now is looking for more help.

Legislation in the House would set up a new system for screening mail and packages so passenger airlines can resume the lucrative business of carrying it; reimburse the industry for the cost of installing new, stronger cockpit doors; and enable airlines to continue buying terrorism insurance at current premiums.

The airline industry expects to lose more than $7 billion this year because of fewer passengers and higher security costs, according to the Air Transport Association, the trade group for major airlines. But the money woes haven't curtailed spending on lobbying and campaign contributions, which totaled more than $27 million between January 1, 2001, and August 31, 2002.
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