Lobbyists for the Discover America Partnership -- an initiative led by the Travel Industry Association -- have spent nearly two years trying to win support for a plan for the government to fund an advertising campaign that would promote the U.S. to foreign tourists. The Air Transport Association supported the group's requests before Congress for improved visa and customs processes, but opposed using an airline departure fee to fund the plan. ATA President James May successfully convinced lawmakers that travelers should not pay for the plan, and the legislation ultimately was opposed by legislators and the Bush administration as well.

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