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Message from Sen. Salazar re: FAA reauthorization

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I appreciate hearing from you.

The current system of aviation taxes and fees that fund the operations of the FAA, including oversight of the nation's aviation system, will expire on September 30. In addition, most related federal aviation programs will also expire at this time. As a result, Congress is currently in the process of crafting legislation to reauthorize these programs for an additional ten years.

The reauthorization process comes at a critical time – our nation's aviation infrastructure is aging rapidly, employs outdated technology, and is increasingly incapable of meeting the transportation and safety needs of the growing number of air travelers. We need to modernize the system now. We also must ensure that the cost of modernization is fairly distributed among all the users of the system, including commercial carriers, business aviation, cargo jets, independent users, and passengers.

In the Senate, FAA reauthorization falls under the jurisdiction of two Committees: the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Finance Committee, of which I am a member. The Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the taxes and fees that fund the system, has held two hearings on this matter, and is likely to formally consider reauthorization legislation in September.

Please be assured that I remain committed to creating a system that meets our nation's future aviation needs and that distributes costs equitably, and that I will keep your thoughts in mind as FAA reauthorization legislation makes its way through both the Finance Committee and the full Senate.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Salazar re: Higher Ed. Amendments of 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1642, the Higher Education Amendments of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you.

Specifically, S.1642 aims to improve federal higher education programs by improving the process to secure federal student aid, creating new limits on the relationships between schools and student aid lenders, increasing the income sheltered from the financial aid process for students who are working their way through college, as well as other reforms intended to provide greater assistance and protection to students.

I believe increasing access to education is a pivotal step to ensuring the future productivity and strength of our nation and support federal programs, which encourage and facilitate Americans to seek a higher education.

I understand and respect your concern regarding Section 491.1, which requires accrediting bodies to respect the religious mission of universities. I support laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation and would not wish to facilitate discriminatory actions. I have been told by institutions of higher learning that this provision will not be problematic, but will be sure to continue to monitor the issue.

I voted for S. 1642, which passed the Senate on July 24, 2007 by a vote of 95 to 0. This bill must now be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind while continuing to work on this important legislation.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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