Inside Politics

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Airline-ticket tax hike proposed by panel

A Democrat-led Senate panel has approved an increase in airline ticket taxes of up to $6 for a round trip in order to cover increased security costs at airports.

The move by the Appropriations homeland security subcommittee would mean that air travelers could pay up to $16 per round trip instead of the present maximum of $10, which is paid by travelers who change planes. For travelers flying nonstop, the fee would be $8 a round trip instead of $5.

Republicans denounced the idea and it could be killed as early as Wednesday when the full Appropriations Committee meets to discuss the underlying spending measure.

The fee increase would raise $280 million next year to cover costs such as new bomb-detection machines.

NEW YORK

Panetta: Threat of another 9/11 is real

NEW YORK — After a decade of war with al Qaeda, the potential for another devastating terrorist assault “remains very real,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday after a somber visit to ground zero of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Panetta walked through the National September 11 Memorial park and museum with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and afterward told reporters that Americans must remain vigilant against the threat of another successful al Qaeda attack.

“The potential for that kind of attack remains very real,” he said from the 10th floor of 7 World Trade Center, the first completed office tower at the site where hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the twin towers, killing more than 2,700 people.

PENNSYLVANIA

Bush to visit Flight 93 memorial

SHANKSVILLE — Former President George W. Bush will speak at this week’s dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial in western Pennsylvania.

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation announced Tuesday that Mr. Bush will join Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Flight 93 family members. Also attending Saturday’s event will be dignitaries including former first lady Laura Bush, Secretary of the Interior Kenneth L. Salazar, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan will perform at the ceremony.

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