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DLM ALERT – FAA Announces Expanded Use of Personal Electronics

Press Release – FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics

For Immediate Release
October 31, 2013
Contact: Kristie Greco
Phone: (202) 267-3883
WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.
Due to differences among fleets and operations, the implementation will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.
The FAA based its decision on input from a group of experts that included representatives from the airlines, aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and the mobile technology industry.
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
“We believe today’s decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer’s increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.”
“I commend the dedication and excellent work of all the experts who spent the past year working together to give us a solid report so we can now move forward with a safety-based decision on when passengers can use PEDs on airplanes,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) concluded most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PEDs. In a recent report, they recommended that the FAA provide airlines with new procedures to assess if their airplanes can tolerate radio interference from PEDs. Once an airline verifies the tolerance of its fleet, it can allow passengers to use handheld, lightweight electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones—at all altitudes. In rare instances of low-visibility, the crew will instruct passengers to turn off their devices during landing. The group also recommended that heavier devices should be safely stowed under seats or in overhead bins during takeoff and landing.
The FAA is streamlining the approval of expanded PED use by giving airlines updated, clear guidance. This FAA tool will help airlines assess the risks of potential PED-induced avionics problems for their airplanes and specific operations. Airlines will evaluate avionics as well as changes to stowage rules and passenger announcements. Each airline will also need to revise manuals, checklists for crewmember training materials, carry-on baggage programs and passenger briefings before expanding use of PEDs. Each airline will determine how and when they will allow passengers broader use of PEDs.
The FAA did not consider changing the regulations regarding the use of cell phones for voice communications during flight because the issue is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The ARC did recommend that the FAA consult with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review its current rules. Cell phones differ from most PEDs in that they are designed to send out signals strong enough to be received at great distances
Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:
1. Make safety your first priority.
2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
9. In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
Current FAA regulations require an aircraft operator to determine that radio frequency interference from PEDs is not a flight safety risk before the operator authorizes them for use during certain phases of flight. Even PEDs that do not intentionally transmit signals can emit unintentional radio energy. This energy may affect aircraft safety because the signals can occur at the same frequencies used by the plane’s highly sensitive communications, navigation, flight control and electronic equipment. An airline must show it can prevent potential interference that could pose a safety hazard. The PED ARC report helps the FAA to guide airlines through determining that they can safely allow widespread use of PEDs.
The PED ARC began work in January, at the request of Administrator Huerta, to determine if it is safe to allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today’s aircraft. The group also reviewed the public’s comments in response to an August 2012 FAA notice on current policy, guidance, and procedures that aircraft operators use when determining if passengers can use PEDs. The group did not consider the use of electronic devices for voice communications. A fact sheet on the report is now available.
The FAA is immediately giving airlines a clear path to safely expand PED use by passengers, and the Administrator will evaluate the rest of the ARC’s longer-term recommendations and respond at a later date.
A Portable Electronic Device is any piece of lightweight, electrically-powered equipment. These devices are typically consumer electronic devices capable of communications, data processing and/or utility. Examples range from handheld, lightweight electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones to small devices such as MP3 players and electronic toys.
The PED ARC report and FAA guidance materials are available on our website..


DLM ALERT – Appropriators Call for Budget Topline

House Appropriations Committee
Chairman Hal Rogers
For Immediate Release: October 31, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Hing with Chairman Rogers, (202) 226-7007
Rob Blumenthal/Eve Goldsher the Chairwoman Mikulski, 202-224-7363

Rogers and Mikulski Call On Budget Conference to Set Appropriations Topline
House and Senate Appropriations Chairs Ask Conferees to Provide a Fiscal Year 2014 Discretionary Number by November 22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the bi-cameral Budget Conference Committee kicked off today, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski urged the leaders of the Conference Committee to make setting discretionary spending caps for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years their first priority.

In a letter sent to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Budget Committees, Chairman Rogers and Chairwoman Mikulski underscored the urgent need to arrive at an overall discretionary number (302(a)) for both the House and the Senate to use in drafting annual appropriations legislation.

Because the December 13 budget conference completion date would leave only a month to conference and pass the 12 annual appropriations bills, Chairman Rogers and Chairwoman Mikulski requested that the conferees strive to set this topline number by November 22, saying additional time to work on these critical bills would result in a “much better product.”

Chairman Rogers and Chairwoman Mikulski also asked for a topline number for fiscal year 2015, to “avoid the situation we encountered this year” – in which the disparity between the House and Senate’s topline numbers hindered progress on appropriations bills.

“We believe that if an agreement on a discretionary spending number can be reached early, it will allow for more thoughtful and responsible spending decisions, set the parameters for the budgetary savings that need to be reached in your Budget Conference, and build momentum for a larger budget agreement that addresses the nation’s wide range of fiscal challenges,” the letter stated.

Chairwoman Mikulski reiterated the pressing need to find this shared number to conference and pass the 12 appropriations bills on a shorter timeline: “To accomplish our goal of funding the government for the rest of this fiscal year, we need a topline as soon as possible, and preferably by Thanksgiving,” said Chairwoman Mikulski. “I am hopeful that the Budget conference will agree on a number that replaces sequester sooner rather than later, so that the Appropriations Committees have a topline that will let us write responsible bills that invest in America’s national security, public safety, and infrastructure, meet compelling human needs, and avoid another shutdown, slamdown crisis in January and next year.”

Chairman Rogers echoed Chairwoman Mikulski. “My Committee is prepared to work tirelessly to complete the critical work of funding all of the government by January 15,” he said. “Setting this common, topline number will allow us to get our work done as quickly as possible, thus avoiding the threat of a government shutdown in another few months, and providing some much-needed stability and direction for our nation and our economy.”

A copy of the letter can be found here:


DLM ALERT – Treasury/OMB Announce Deficit Numbers

Deficit More Than Cut in Half Since 2009

Posted by Sylvia Mathews Burwell on October 30, 2013 at 04:51 PM EDT
The Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury today released the fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget results, which show that we are continuing to make significant progress in reducing the deficit. The final 2013 deficit was $680 billion, $409 billion less than the 2012 deficit and $293 billion less than forecast in President Obama’s April Budget. As a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the deficit fell to 4.1 percent, representing a reduction of more than half from the deficit that the Administration inherited when the President took office in 2009. The deficit reduction since that point represents the fastest decline in the deficit over a sustained period since the end of World War II.

The President believes that growing our economy and creating more good jobs with higher wages must be our top economic priority. That is why he has consistently advocated a strategy to strengthen the middle class while improving our nation’s long-term fiscal position by cutting the deficit in a balanced way. Under the President’s leadership, we have already locked in more than $2.5 trillion of deficit reduction over the next decade, through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases from asking the wealthiest to pay their share.

In his 2014 Budget, the President presented a plan that would make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. It is a plan that demonstrates that we do not need to choose between growing the economy and taking further action to reduce the deficit – we can do both. Building on the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction already locked in, the President’s plan would replace the economically damaging sequester while achieving additional deficit reduction to put Federal debt on a downward path as a share of the economy. And unlike sequestration, which includes no long-term deficit reduction, the President’s plan includes structural reforms that would generate growing savings in the second decade and beyond.

The significant decrease in the deficit from last year was due to a combination of higher receipts and lower outlays in 2013, which can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a stronger economy, the expiration of certain tax cuts for high income Americans, and spending reductions like those achieved from the troop drawdown in Afghanistan as proposed in the President’s Budget.

Looking forward, the Administration remains committed to working with Congress to enact proposals that will strengthen the economy and middle class by making needed investments in areas like education, infrastructure, research and development, and national security, while putting debt as a share of the economy on a downward path.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

DLM ALERT – Statement of Administration Policy Supporting CR/Debt Limit Bill





Substitute Amendment to H.R. 2775 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014

(Sen. Reid, D-NV, and Sen. Mikulski, D-MD)


The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 2775, making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.  The legislation represents a bipartisan agreement to reopen the Government and remove the threat of default that would harm middle-class families, American businesses, and the Nation’s economic standing in the world.  The Administration urges the Congress to act swiftly to pass the bill in order to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and end the Government shutdown.  The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on fiscal year 2014 appropriations legislation for the full year.


* * * * * * *


DLM ALERT – Administration Opposes FAA CR

Below is the Statement of Administration Policy opposing the FAA CR as part of a “piecemeal” approach on Appropriations.




October 9, 2013


H.J. Res. 90  ̶  Federal Aviation Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

(Rep. Rogers, R-KY)


The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.J. Res. 90, which is another attempt at funding the Federal Government in piecemeal fashion by restoring only very limited activities. Consideration of appropriations legislation in this manner is not a serious or responsible way to run the United States Government.  Instead of opening up a few Government functions, the House of Representatives should re-open all of the Government.  The harmful impacts of a shutdown extend across Government, affecting services that are critical to small businesses, women, children, seniors, and others across the Nation.  The Senate acted in a responsible manner on a short-term funding measure to maintain Government functions and avoid a damaging Government shutdown.  The House of Representatives should allow a straight up or down vote on Senate-passed H.J. Res. 59.


If the President were presented with H.J. Res. 90, he would veto the bill.


* * * * * * *

DLM ALERT – Appropriations Chairman To Retire

Congressman Bill Young, the current Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and former Chairman of the entire Appropriations Committee, announced today that he would not run for re-election.  Young has been a Member of the House of Representatives for 42 years making him the most senior GOP member.

DLM ALERT – Statement of Administration Policy Opposing H.J. Res. 89 & HR 3273

We are providing below the White House Statement that  H.J. Res. 89, the Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act and HR 3273,  the Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act of 2013 would be vetoed.




October 8, 2013


H.J. Res. 89  ̶  Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act

(Rep. Rogers, R-KY)


H.R. 3273  ̶  Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act of 2013

(Rep. Sessions, R-TX)


The Administration strongly opposes House joint passage of H.J. Res. 89 and H.R. 3273, which does nothing to solve the immediate, pressing obligations the Congress has to open the Government and pay its bills.  The House should allow a straight up or down vote on Senate-passed H.J. Res. 59 to reopen the Government, bring all the Nation’s dedicated civil servants back to work, and provide the services middle-class Americans deserve.  In addition, the House should pass a clean debt ceiling bill without drama or delay so that the United States can continue to pay its bills and fulfill the Nation’s obligations.  The President has been clear that he is open to discussing a broad range of measures to support the Nation’s economy, create jobs, and further reduce the deficit once the Congress meets its responsibility to open the Government and pay its bills.


If the President were presented with H.J. Res. 89 and H.R. 3273, he would veto the legislation.



House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent the below memo to GOP offices outlining CR strategy.


Many House Republicans have stated that they want to pass a CR that

affirmatively de-funds the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare. In

addition to firmly putting the House on record, such an effort would force the

Democrat Senate to confront the issue of defunding, providing Senate

Republicans the opportunity to challenge Senate Democrats to join Republicans

in blocking the further implementation of this awful and unpopular law.

Tactically, we want to engage this battle in a manner that unites House

Republicans, provides as few opportunities as possible for Senate Democrats to

duck the issue, and ensures that if defunding does not occur that Senate

Democrats are held to account.



The House simultaneously considers a CR at sequester levels AND

a H.Con.Res. that would amend the CR to include full defunding



The vote on passage of the CR is also on passage of the H.Con.Res.

(defunding language).


Upon passage, the Clerk of the House sends the defunding

language to the Senate.


The rule for the CR/Defund package provides that the CR cannot be

transmitted to the Senate until the Senate has considered the

defunding language.


If the Senate passes defunding then it gets added to the CR as it

goes to the President. If they defeat it, then the Senate can consider

whether they want to pass the CR. If they do, without amendment it

goes to the President.


DLM is providing below a copy of the memo House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent to GOP Members of Congress outlining the legislative agenda for September and October.

TO: House Republicans
FR: Eric Cantor
DT: Friday, September 06, 2013
RE: September and October Legislative Agenda

As we return from five weeks of meetings with constituents, small businesses, and local leaders, the House will be confronted with a number of serious issues ranging from federal spending levels to Syria, to Obamacare to domestic energy. In addition, we will continue to focus on America’s working middle class as they lose ground when Washington wastes their tax dollars on out-of-control programs, Obamacare increases their insurance premiums and slashes their hours at work, and their energy prices rise.

We must, as always, remain focused on our conservative policies that can help grow the economy, lessen the burden of government and provide opportunity for working middle class families. Many families are distressed. Countless parents don’t remember the last time their employer could afford to give them a raise. Many fear their full-time job will become a part-time job. And many don’t have a job at all. And healthcare costs are rising.

Many of these middle class families feel squeezed out and don’t feel the government is paying attention to their needs, and that their voices don’t matter. Well their voices matter to us, and we’re going to fight for them this month and every month after with an agenda focused on economic security and opportunity for working middle class families.

While this memo is not exhaustive of the issues the House will deal with in the fall, the outline below will give you a sense of what to expect over the next two months. I look forward to hearing your input in shaping our conservative agenda.


As the new fiscal year begins at the end of the month we find ourselves needing a short-term CR due to the Senate’s failure to pass even a single appropriations bill. Enactment of a CR at sequester levels would contain $64 billion in less spending compared to the current funding levels President Obama signed into law a mere five months ago. In signing a CR at sequester levels, the President would be endorsing a level of spending that wipes away all the increases he and Congressional Democrats made while they were in charge and returns us to a pre-2008 level of discretionary spending.

Debt Limit

The administration announced that it expects to run out of borrowing authority by mid-October. While we do not know the precise date of when that authority will lapse, the House will act to prevent a default on our obligations before that point. Over the past three decades during times of divided government, increases in the debt limit have been accompanied by major spending, fiscal, and regulatory reforms and I expect that model to play out once again. Gramm-Rudman, the Congressional Review Act, and the Budget Control Act all were enacted on previous increases of the debt limit. Therefore, House Republicans will demand fiscal reforms and pro-growth policies which put us on a path to balance in ten years in exchange for another increase in the debt limit.


Understanding that there are differing opinions on both sides of the aisle, it is up to President Obama to make the case to Congress and to the American people that this is the right course of action. Members should expect a robust debate and vote on an authorization of use of military force pertaining to Syria in the next two weeks.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has ballooned since President Obama took office with one in seven Americans now receiving food stamps. As SNAP has grown, working middle class families are footing the $80 billion bill for a safety net gone well beyond assistance to children, seniors, and the disabled. That is why, with Chairman Lucas, a working group of our conference came together to address the major problems to reform SNAP while still preserving the safety net for those who truly need it. The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act restores the intent of the bipartisan welfare reforms adopted in 1996 by ensuring that work requirements for able-bodied adults without children are enforced – not waived – and eliminates loopholes exploited over the last few years to avoid the program’s income and asset tests. It also empowers states to engage able-bodied parents in work and job training as part of receiving food stamps to help move them to self-sufficiency. Most importantly, no individual who meets the income and asset guidelines of the SNAP program and is willing to comply with applicable work requirements will lose benefits as a result of these reforms. It is expected that these simple reforms will save taxpayers an estimated $40 billion over ten years.


As the Speaker outlined in July, the House will hold a series of strategic votes throughout the fall to dismantle, defund, and delay Obamacare. The coalition supporting Obamacare cracks when forced to vote on the most unpopular aspects of the law. Remember, we have successfully forced the president to sign seven bills into law that either repeal parts of or significantly reduce spending on his signature law. And earlier this summer, 22 and 35 House Democrats voted to delay the individual and employee mandates, respectively.

We have seen in recent months that Obamacare is unworkable as the administration has missed half the deadlines in the law, according to a report published by CRS. Most recently, the administration has delayed the mandate on insurance companies that caps out-of-pocket insurance costs. As the October 1st implementation approaches, we will continue to pursue the strategy of systematically derailing this train wreck and replacing it with a patient-centered system which removes Washington from health care decisions.


We know that the current legal immigration system is broken and should be fixed in a deliberate and responsible manner. That is why the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have produced a number of specific bills which the House may begin considering this fall. Before we consider any other reforms, it is important that we pass legislation securing our borders and providing enforcement mechanisms to our law enforcement officials.

Domestic Energy

The working middle class is struggling under the weight of increased energy costs all while the United States has enough natural gas and newly discoverable oil finds to meet our energy needs for almost a century. We must focus on expanding our energy production in an environmentally friendly way to lower the price of energy for all Americans. That is why we will consider Bill Flores’s bill, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728). This bipartisan legislation prohibits the Interior Department from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has existing regulations and recognizes states’ rights to regulate this type of activity.

While energy is certainly a jobs issue, for millions of American families it is a pocketbook issue — working middle class families who in 2001 spent 12% of their earnings to pay for their energy bills, today spend 21% of their income on the same bill. According to the research firm IHS Global Insight, shale energy production, which could not be done successfully without hydraulic fracturing, has created billions of dollars in additional revenues for federal, state and local governments, helped American consumers save an average of $926 annually per household, and supported more than 1.75 million jobs in 2012. Throughout the fall, House Republicans will continue to bring environmentally friendly energy legislation like this to the floor to bring down the cost of energy, create jobs for the middle class, and make the United States more energy independent.

Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act

For over 100 years, the federal government has managed our national forests while sharing with impacted local communities a percentage of management revenue. Chairman Doc Hastings’s bill, Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (H.R. 1526), renews the government’s commitment to rural communities, improves forest health, and will help prevent catastrophic wildfires which threaten millions of Americans through proactive measures. The bill also provides a short-term extension of the Secure Rural Schools payments program.


The Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA) is model for a new way to do business here in Washington and I applaud Chairman Bill Shuster and his committee for developing a bill with much needed reforms. The legislation cuts federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamlines the project delivery process, improves competiveness, strengthens water resources infrastructure, and promotes fiscal responsibility. Most importantly, WRRDA contains no earmarks. It also increases transparency, accountability and Congressional oversight in reviewing and prioritizing future water resources development activities without ceding Constitutional Congressional authority to the executive branch.

Kids First Research Act

H.R. 2019, The Kids First Research Act, introduced by Gregg Harper, Tom Cole, and Peter Welch clearly reflects Congressional priorities in funding: medical research before political parties and conventions. In the era of limited federal resources, it is critical that we set the right priorities and now more than ever our priority should be medical breakthroughs that help children who are suffering from diseases and disorders like autism, juvenile diabetes, Down syndrome, and cancer. This bipartisan bill eliminates the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and diverts the remaining money, approximately $130 million, to expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health. Autism Speaks, Children’s Hospital Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are among the more than three dozen groups which support passage of this bill. It is no secret that Healthcare costs coupled with our nation’s demographic trends disproportionately cloud the fiscal outlook for the federal government. By promoting cures, this legislation also reflects a long term commitment to fiscal balance.


In September and October, House committees will continue to hold an out-of-touch government in Washington accountable. Congressional oversight that exposes abuses, such as political targeting by the IRS, is the first step in restoring trust in government, controlling spending, and reforming Washington. Working middle class families deserve a government that is working for them, not against them.

As I detailed in a memo to you last month, House committees are actively pursuing over 150 inquires. While the IRS and Benghazi investigations remain priorities, the committees continue to focus on wasteful spending, job-killing regulations including the implementation of Obamacare and the administration’s energy policies, and national security.


This fall’s legislative agenda is aimed at promoting our conservative solutions that produce results for all Americans. We will need to address additional issues this fall, including a review of our intelligence programs and cyber security. A variety of other items are likely to be considered and members will receive weekly schedule updates at our conference meetings. Upon return to Washington, if we stay focused on our solutions and how they can benefit all Americans dealing with their every day challenges, I am convinced we will achieve more significant policy victories in the months ahead.

Thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of your constituents and all Americans.



You heard it here.  DLM’s August 6th Blog  entitled “DLM Foresight”  reported that EPA would issue the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard this month.  Well it has happened as we projected. Below is a link to the EPA fact sheet on the rulemaking: .