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NTA Applauds Passage of Stevens/Leahy Amendment

June 30, 2006

NTA Applauds Passage of Stevens/Leahy Amendment
June 30, 2006 – The National Tour Association applauds Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for their efforts to pass legislation to modify the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The Stevens/Leahy amendment passed the U.S. Senate yesterday and sets a June 1, 2009, for WHTI implementation and ensures that the government has sufficient capability to facilitate cross-border travel in light of WHTI requirements.


"This is a good first step for the travel industry," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "A delay in implementation would allow for sufficient education of the traveling public as well as allowing the government to ramp up its capabilities to deal with new border-crossing requirements. However, NTA is still working for more substantive changes to WHTI that would not merely postpone the implementation of flawed policy."


The first phase of WHTI is scheduled for implementation Dec. 31, 2006, and will eventually require passports to enter and re-enter the United States from countries in the Western Hemisphere. NTA has pressed for changes, specifically those in the previously-adopted Coleman/Dorgan amendment, that would postpone WHTI and ameliorate some of its harsh provisions:


  • Cap of $24 for the PASS card, which would be the equivalent of a North American Passport for Americans
  • Establishment of a 72-hour visitation pass for Americans wishing to leave the United States for a cross-border trip and not possessing a passport
  • Waiver of PASS fee for children under age 18
  • Waiver of documentation requirements for children traveling in a group of six or more having permission from parent or guardian

Both the Stevens/Leahy and Coleman/Dorgan amendment are now awaiting conference. NTA, through its work with other associations and its own legislative and grassroots efforts, will continue to work for substantive change on this important legislation.

The National Tour Association was established in 1951 as a unified voice to fight legislation in the newly formed packaged travel industry. Today, NTA’s government relations activities include monitoring security issues, as well as state and federal legislation and regulatory issues affecting the travel and tourism industry. NTA maintains full-time representation in Washington, D.C., to serve as the association’s voice on Capitol Hill. Additionally, NTA empowers its members to be advocates for the association on the local level, as well as to provide support for NTA’s positions on national priority issues through its Grassroots Action Network. For more information on NTA’s government relations activities, please visit or call 800.682.8886.

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