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House Backs Air Insurance Extension

April 13, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The House voted Monday to extend a program that provides insurance for commercial airlines flying into high-risk areas, such as countries at war.

Commercial insurance companies often do not provide this type of insurance even though these types of flights sometimes are required to ``further the foreign policy or national security interests of the United States,″ said a statement released by the House Republican Conference.

Under the bill, passed 349-44, the Federal Aviation Administration would continue to insure aircraft that are considered necessary to U.S. foreign policy interests when commercial insurance is unavailable at a reasonable cost.

Without the program, the government would have to buy aircraft, ``which would cost the taxpayers million of dollars, if not billions,″ Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wis., said.

The program was used during the Persian Gulf War when commercial flights were used to carry troops and supplies to the Middle East.

The Senate passed a similar bill in March.

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The bill is H.Res. 135.

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