by Michael J. Shapiro | December 19, 2013
The U.S. Senate passed a two-year budget deal by a vote of 64-36 on Wednesday, ostensibly ending the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. The bill, a compromise written by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, had already passed the House. The new deal allows for government spending to increase over current law, which will be offset by cutting certain programs and increasing other revenue sources. The 9/11 Aviation Security Fee, for example, will rise from $2.50 per flight to $5.60 -- a measure that has drawn opposition from the travel industry. "Business travelers will share the burden of a billion dollars in new aviation security taxes," said Global Business Travel Association executive director and COO Michael W. McCormick last week in a statement. "To aggravate the damage to business travel and U.S. businesses’ ability to conduct business effectively, the additional revenue will not be used to fund programs that benefit travelers. Enough is enough -- business travelers are not bottomless piggy banks." The fee increase is slated to take effect next year.