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ASTA to Hold Third Annual Legislative Summit

( Alexandria, Va., May 15, 2007-On June 12, 2007, ASTA will hold its third Legislative Day, where attendees will obtain, firsthand, insights from U.S. government officials on travel–related issues such the Secure Flight program's upcoming rules that may impact the Passenger Name Record (PNR) data agents collect, tax–gap issues and the status of health care legislation for small businesses. A panel of distinguished industry leaders also will update participants on state efforts to tax travel agency service fees.

"The Legislative Summit is a cornerstone of ASTA's efforts to educate its members on the critical legislative issues that confront the industry,” said ASTA Executive Vice President and COO Bill Maloney, CTC. “Now in its third year, the event has proven to be extremely popular and is an opportunity to showcase the tremendous work ASTA achieves on behalf of the industry on Capitol Hill and at the state level."

Among the invited speakers are:
- Rep. Peter DeFazio, D–Ore., member, House Homeland Security and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees;
- Ann Barrett, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, Department of State;
- John Satagaj, president, Small Business Legislative Council and general counsel co–chair, Coalition for Fairness in Tax Compliance;
- Paul Leyh, deputy director for Secure Flight and transportation threat assessment and credentialing, Department of Homeland Security;
- Steve DiMasi, vice president of government relations, FedState Strategic Consulting, Inc.;
- Andrew Steinberg, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, Department of Transportation; and
- Keith Strama, Beatty, Bangle & Strama (Austin, Texas)

Keith Strama will discuss regulatory and legislative efforts resulting from the passage of a gross receipts tax by the state of Texas. The tax, passed in a special session in 2006, posed a problem for the state's travel agencies in defining net vs. gross receipts for tax filing purposes. Through the generosity of ASTA's Corporate Advisory Council (CAC), the Austin law firm of Beatty, Bangle and Strama was retained to represent ASTA before the Texas State government.

The event, open only to ASTA's politically minded members and Premium members, will be held again at the Jones Day Law Offices in Washington, D.C.
For more information, please contact ASTA's Government Affairs department.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Contact: Kristina Rundquist/Ayanna Canty

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