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Thread: Pilots Bill of Rights 2 Makes it to Executive Session, thanks to AOPA and your support!

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Pilots Bill of Rights 2 Makes it to Executive Session, thanks to AOPA and your support!

    We received some good news regarding the Pilots Bill of Rights 2, folks!


    The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.


    http://www.commerce.senate.gov/publi...F-4D178C9E8B87


    Kudos to Mark Baker and AOPA for making headway in getting the PBR2 passed! Please take a moment to contact your Senators and urge their support.

    For those of you who live in MN, please contact the offices of Senators Franken and Klobuchar and ask that they support this important piece of legislation.

    Randy

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    Flying just came out with this, which says the PBR2 bill is getting out of the senate faster ta=han I thought it would.

    http://www.flyingmag.com/news/medica...NjgxMTg2NjMxS0

    They say it has broad support in the House, but my sources say not so much. I hope Flying Magazine is right, but note the changes to the original bill. It is quite a bit short of where we hoped it would be.

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    From my selfish perspective the "watered down" version is still a huge step. I would have favored the version that we all signed the petition for (unrestricted LSA up to 4 place and 180hp) but I'll be thankful for any step in that direction.

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    Anyone have a link to the actual text of the rewrite? Haven't been able to find one. Wondering if there is still a deadline for the FAA to adopt the changes or any direction to change the special issuance process. It is a big step but without a deadline the FAA will continue to take their sweet time doing anything, believe the Small Plane Revitalization act of '13 has been delayed further.

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    marcusofcotton's Avatar
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    Contact your Senators that are on the committee.
    Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

    Members:
    Members:
    Thune,
    John (SD) ,
    Chairman

    Wicker,
    Roger F. (MS)

    Blunt,
    Roy (MO)

    Rubio,
    Marco (FL)

    Ayotte,
    Kelly (NH)

    Cruz,
    Ted (TX)

    Fischer,
    Deb (NE)

    Moran,
    Jerry (KS)

    Sullivan,
    Dan (AK)

    Johnson,
    Ron (WI)

    Heller,
    Dean (NV)

    Gardner,
    Cory (CO)

    Daines,
    Steve (MT)
    Nelson, Bill (FL),
    Ranking Member
    Cantwell, Maria (WA)
    McCaskill, Claire (MO)
    Klobuchar, Amy (MN)
    Blumenthal, Richard (CT)
    Schatz, Brian (HI)
    Markey, Edward J. (MA)
    Booker, Cory A. (NJ)
    Udall, Tom (NM)
    Manchin, Joe (WV)
    Peters, Gary C. (MI)
    Last edited by marcusofcotton; 11-12-2015 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Sorry about the way the cut and paste worked out.
    Practicing open cockpit extremism

  6. #6
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Mark Baker sent the following summary and FAQ's regarding the negotiated PBR2:

    By Elizabeth A Tennyson

    A recent announcement by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the author of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, about modifications to the bill’s language have raised plenty of questions among members of AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

    We’ll be up front with you: AOPA and EAA fully support the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, including these modifications. For more than 25 years, our two organizations have been pushing for aeromedical reform. Our most recent exemption request was made in 2012 and was much less expansive than the bill as it now stands, but it did not gain the traction needed for approval. We are farther along the road to substantive aeromedical reform than at any time in history.
    We’ve also been digging after answers on some of your most common questions.

    Why the changes in the bill’s language?
    Simply put, the original language of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 did not have enough support in the Senate, despite your thousands of contacts with your senators. It was not going to pass or move forward in its original form. Inhofe knows the workings of the Senate extremely well, so he looked for a way to get support to move meaningful reform forward. They went directly after the objections voiced by fellow senators, and in doing so built bipartisan support from 67 senators across the entire political spectrum.
    What if I will only support the original language in the bill?

    Again, we’re going to be frank here. Accepting only the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 language would mean failure of the entire bill. We would end up with nothing, the same way previous efforts for meaningful aeromedical reform have ended.

    Will this affect me if I still want to fly as a sport pilot?
    No. This bill does not change any provision of the sport pilot rule. You may still fly light sport aircraft with at least a sport pilot certificate and a valid driver’s license in lieu of a third class medical certificate.


    Isn’t the requirement to have had a medical certificate within the past 10 years only a move to a 10-year renewal of a medical?
    No. If you are a private pilot and have a valid medical certificate (regular or special issuance) within 10 years from the date when the bill is signed into law, you may never have to visit an AME again. You will simply have to take an online medical education course every two years, and visit your personal physician once every four years and note that visit in your logbook. No requirement will exist to report the outcome of the visit to the FAA.

    Even though I have held a special issuance within the past 10 years, I understand that I may have to get another if I have been diagnosed with certain conditions. What are those conditions?
    Those conditions are described in the federal aviation regulations and are limited to an established medical history of the following:
    · Cardiovascular: myocardial infarction (heart attack); coronary heart disease that has been treated by open heart surgery, cardiac valve replacement; and heart replacement.
    · Neurological: epilepsy; a transient loss of control of the nervous system; and disturbances of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.
    · Psychological: personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts; manifested or may reasonably expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; severe bipolar disorder; and substance dependence within the previous two years as defined in FAR 67.307(4).

    What is this online aeromedical course and who will administer it?
    The online aeromedical course, taken once every two years, would be a requirement to keep your flying privileges. It would be free of charge to all pilots, whether or not they are AOPA or EAA members. We believe education is more effective than regulation, and this is the best way to get the important health information to everyone. It also would include information on how over-the-counter medications can affect our fitness for flying. The course will be run and maintained through the GA community’s communications channels, such as the AOPA Air Safety Institute. The FAA would only approve the content of the online course. If we as a flying community fail to show that we can be responsible for educating ourselves, more regulation will be put upon us.

    I feel fine. Why do I have to go to a doctor every four years to prove it?
    We’re pleased that you feel fine, but even if you weren’t a pilot, avoiding the doctor’s office isn’t the way to assure that you’re in good health. Most people see their personal physician for a physical every year or two regardless. This legislation eliminates the cost, paperwork, and extra hassle of regularly seeing a different doctor just to fly. It also eliminates many of the burdens placed on private pilots just because they’re pilots.

    Will this help me if I need a special issuance?
    Yes! One of the biggest problems with the current special issuance process is that it’s a continual renewal, with all the cost, paperwork, and hassle associated with it each time. Under the bill’s language, you receive the third class medical special issuance once and you’re good to go, with only future visits to your personal physician at least every 48 months. In addition, the bill requires the FAA to streamline its special issuance process, so even that one time might not be as much of a burden in the future.

    I’ve heard that the FAA denies most special issuance medical requests, so I’m reluctant to even try.
    Whoever told you this is wrong. The FAA issues medical certificates to the vast majority—more than 98 percent, in fact—of people who complete the medical certification process. That includes those who are seeking a special issuance medical. And, under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, you will only need to complete the special issuance process once.

    Doesn’t this just help old pilots? What about new private pilots who can’t get a third class medical?
    Inhofe heard clearly from fellow senators that in order to support the bill, they needed one initial medical approval by the FAA to ensure that a new pilot was in sufficiently good health to fly. That’s a one-time approval, compared to the biennial medical exam— sometimes more if certain conditions are involved—that is now required. That’s a pretty substantial step forward for everyone.

    Will I be able to get insurance if I fly under the rules set out in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2?
    Insurance companies have not yet addressed how they will handle medical reforms and are unlikely to do so until medical reform becomes law. Our 10 years of experience with the sport pilot regulations and other pilots flying sport pilot aircraft without a medical certificate showed little or no impact on insurance availability or rates. Since each company uses slightly different language regarding medical requirements, the best thing to do is to contact your insurance broker or company and ask how they will handle anticipated reforms. History indicates that compliance with the applicable regulations is typically all that is required by insurance companies, and the new regulations would not require an additional medical certificate for many pilots in the future.

    So, where do we go next? What’s the timeline?
    Even with all the progress, there’s still work to do. Few things move forward quickly in Congress. Inhofe would love to get more senators on board as co-sponsors—so, if your senator is on the list of those still not signed on, continue to contact them. Inhofe is also working to get the bill to the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the House, where nearly 150 representatives are co-signers of the original parallel Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. We are seeking every potential avenue for progress in both houses of Congress.
    Predicting the pace of legislation is a fool’s game, but we’ll say it again: This needed reform is farther along now than ever before and we are working daily to get this done as soon as possible. It has support of GA groups, aeromedical groups, and several large airline pilot groups. Everybody would love it to move faster, but discouragement and doubt do not help. Let’s push this across the finish line!


    Elizabeth A Tennyson | Senior Director of Communications, AOPA
    AOPA Senior Director of Communications Elizabeth Tennyson is an instrument-rated private pilot who first joined AOPA in 1998.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Just received this note from Mark Baker:

    Delay of game looks like a short term extension til dec 4th - boy these guys don't know what deadline means !
    FYI

    There you have it. This gives us more time to contact our Senators and push for the PRB2. Let's take advantage of that extension, shall we?!

    Randy

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    fancypants's Avatar
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    Good grief.


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    It's crunch time and this balk gives us a chance to reinforce so PLEASE make another push to your representatives if any are not on board and if yours is/are think about sending along a thank you note and ask them to reach out to other members...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    I hope reform goes through obviously but I truly don't feel the government really cares about general aviation and I think it's just a hassle for them don't think there's any motivation for them to change anything just my two cents good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddart View Post
    I hope reform goes through obviously but I truly don't feel the government really cares about general aviation and I think it's just a hassle for them don't think there's any motivation for them to change anything just my two cents good luck.
    That's been the biggest part of this fight... "you mean another bill for general aviation pilots, how many are there like 500,000 ?" as benefactors of this we are a tiny segment.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  12. #12
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddart View Post
    I hope reform goes through obviously but I truly don't feel the government really cares about general aviation and I think it's just a hassle for them don't think there's any motivation for them to change anything just my two cents good luck.
    Hey, and you know what I think about your post, Yarddart??? I think you might be right!!! But I hope like heck that you are wrong, or that you are right and that we can get this through ANYWAY!

    Seriously, thanks for the post. I understand your sentiments, but would like to give you back your two cents worth with a dime tip

    Randy, Yarddart's long lost brother and fellow pessimist

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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    From my selfish perspective the "watered down" version is still a huge step. I would have favored the version that we all signed the petition for (unrestricted LSA up to 4 place and 180hp) but I'll be thankful for any step in that direction.
    Current PBR2 proposal is better than original AOPA/EAA proposal in several ways: more pax (5 vs 1), higher ceiling (under 18K vs 10K AGL), no horsepower limit, and includes IFR (vs VFR only). A much better package, the only fly in the ointment is to be the one-time or within 10 years ago medical certificate.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    fancypants's Avatar
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    Being discussed right now

    http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/

    Live stream seems to be working

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    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    I'm watching it now, not getting a warm, fuzzy feeling. We'll see.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    The first amendment requiring a list of medical conditions that a physician would have to check, failed 13-11.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  17. #17
    fancypants's Avatar
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    Surprised to hear some of the names that voted no. The amendment proposed by Senator Nelson seems to have mucked up the works and lost the support of Senator Inhofe.

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    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    Now they're discussing terrorists and foreign repair stations...it's like watching sausage be made.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  19. #19
    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    Nelson amendment #4 regarding liability release fails 13-11.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  20. #20

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    I don't think our government could make a decision to save their lives I can't even watch this stuff it sickens me the way they bicker back and forth and can't make a flipping decision flippin decision

  21. #21
    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    The vote on moving the legislation forward is suspended because a member walked out leaving less than the required quorum...
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  22. #22
    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    Not sure what happens next...I don't remember covering this mess during high school civics class.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  23. #23
    fancypants's Avatar
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    It sounded like they were getting more Yeas on the vote to pass it out of committee until Senator Nelson made the quorum call. I wonder who walked out just before the final vote.

  24. #24
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubCruiser View Post
    Not sure what happens next...I don't remember covering this mess during high school civics class.
    If they'd told us in high school how the government really works (witness the above posts), everybody would have chosen anarchy instead. We have the best system of government in the world, I guess, but it seems like that isn't saying much. I wish they had as much trouble with new anti-gun laws as they seem to be having with this common-sense bill.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  25. #25
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I'm confused ..... previous post here said it was postponed till Dec. 4th? Non of this makes any sense. Still wondering what happened to the proposal that left the desk of the FAA, what, 6 months ago bound for the transportation department to be acted on in 60 days or something? Schedules and dates seem meaningless to our elected officials. Very frustrated here; I think I'll go schedule a third class physical

    Marty57
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  26. #26
    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    I'm confused ..... previous post here said it was postponed till Dec. 4th? Non of this makes any sense...
    Marty57
    I was under that impression as well, but I watched the antics live this morning.
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  27. #27
    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    From AOPA:

    November 18, 2015
    By Elizabeth A Tennyson


    The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has reviewed S. 571, better known as the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBR2), and passed an amendment offered by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), bringing third class medical reform one step closer to reality. A full committee vote on the amended legislation was temporarily deferred as a result of scheduling conflicts.
    “We are pleased that this vital legislation is still moving ahead, and we look forward to a full committee vote soon,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “The legislation has strong bipartisan support from senators who understand that the third-class medical process is long overdue for reform and want to help hundreds of thousands of pilots fly safely without having to make repeated trips to an aviation medical examiner or submit reams of paperwork to the FAA year after year.”The committee considered several possible amendments to PBR2 at the Nov. 18 markup, including two offered by Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), but ultimately passed only the Manchin amendment, which had strong support from the aviation community and medical professionals. One amendment offered by Nelson would have required a panel of aerospace medical experts to create a checklist of conditions that could impair the individual’s ability to safely operate an aircraft and which pilots would have to sign along with the physician’s verification. Opponents argued that doctors are well equipped and in a better position than a federal agency to know what to look for in a standard physical exam. The other Nelson amendment would have limited certain liability protections to federal employees, whereas the Manchin amendment extends those protections to federal contractors including pilot examiners, aviation medical examiners, and others. Both Nelson amendments were defeated 11-13.





    “We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Manchin, himself a general aviation pilot, and other committee members who recognize the significance of third-class medical reform to our community,” Baker said. “The fact that this legislation has come so far is also a testament to the engagement of AOPA’s members who have contacted their elected officials more than 94,000 times so far this year to seek their support for PBR2 and medical reform.”
    Earlier in the week, AOPA and 16 other aviation organizations sent a letter to committee leaders urging them to pass PBR2 and the Manchin amendment. In addition to promoting third class medical reforms, the amendment includes reforms to the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) program, which ensures pilots receive critical safety information as part of their preflight preparation, and provides protections to volunteer pilots who fly in the public interest.
    As amended, PBR2 would allow hundreds of thousands of pilots who have held a valid third class medical, either regular or special issuance, within 10 years of the legislation’s enactment to fly without needing to get another FAA medical exam. It would apply to pilots flying VFR or IFR in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds and carrying up to five passengers at altitudes below 18,000 feet and speeds up to 250 knots.
    For pilots whose medical certificate lapsed more than 10 years before the legislation is enacted and those who have never held a medical certificate, a one-time medical certification will be required. After a pilot has been medically certified once, either through the regular or special-issuance process, he or she will also be able to fly indefinitely without needing to go through the FAA medical certification process again.
    Pilots who develop certain medical factors, including some cardiac, psychological, or neurological conditions, will have to get a special issuance medical one time only. Under the Manchin amendment, the FAA will have one year from the date the legislation becomes law to produce a final rule reflecting the legislation’s provisions. If the final rule is not ready by that date, pilots will be allowed to fly under the guidelines set out in the legislation without facing FAA enforcement action. For more information, visit AOPA’s frequently asked questions regarding third class medical reform.
    “Senator Inhofe, Senator Thune, Senator Manchin, and our AOPA members have worked hard to keep this legislation alive at a time when Congress is faced with a litany of challenging issues,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “Today’s action is a step forward, and we will do all we can to capitalize on this momentum to make third-class medical reform a reality for the hundreds of thousands of pilots who are tired of struggling with unnecessarily cumbersome and costly regulatory hurdles.”
    Once the amended version of PBR2 passes the committee, it will go to the full Senate, where the legislation has 69 cosponsors. Similar legislation in the House has 150 cosponsors. After passing both bodies the bill will then go to the President for his signature.




    Daryl Hickman, CFI
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  28. #28

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    Watched a bit of the hearing, thanks for posting the link. I'd say today was a good day, the bill has good committee support and I think I rounded up another supporting member in the House today at a chance opportunity.

    Kirby
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  29. #29
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Folks, I received this from Jim Coon, one of the AOPA leaders who attended the hearing today. I, too, watched the hearing and, being pretty new to this, really didn't know what all the posturing meant. I asked Jim to summarize, and here is part of his response to me:

    All bills go through a Committee before they go to the full House or the full Senate for a further vote.

    PBR2 had to go through the Senate Commerce Committee before going to the Senate floor for a vote by the entire Senate.

    So, this morning the Senate Commerce Committee approved the Manchin amendment and they defeated two amendments offered by Senator Nelson from Florida.

    The vote to send the bill to the Senate floor was deferred due to scheduling conflicts with several Senators and I anticipate that they will announce their plans soon to reschedule that vote. The majority of the Senate Commerce Committee supports the Manchin amendment, which is now the text of S. 571, the Pilots Bill of Rights 2.

    Senator Nelson’s amendments that were defeated dealt with requiring doctors to use a government issued check list when conducting a physical exam. We opposed that amendment and it was defeated.

    Senator Nelson’s other amendment dealt with limiting liability protections only to federal employees as opposed to language in the Manchin amendment that provides liability protection to individuals who contract with the federal government, AMEs, mechanics, instructors, etc… We opposed this Nelson amendment and it was defeated as well.

    Senator Nelson filed 23 amendments to the Manchin amendment but only discussed the two mentioned above.

    We will continue to work to get this done as soon as we can but in short, we are another step closer.


    I feel optimistic about our chances, but we need to round up all the votes in the Senate, and in the House, that we can muster. Senator Nelson was spanked pretty nicely today, with two of his key amendments to the Manchin amendment voted down across party lines. He is a wheeler/dealer and it is my guess based upon my conversations with Mark Baker and Jim that he will not take this spanking without putting up a fight. Please continue to call your Congressmen and Senators and beat the blasted drum!

    Support AOPA. I can tell you that were it not for the hard work they are putting into this legislation there would be no significant chance that this would make it.

    Kirby, thank you for all you are doing to support this, Chief (couldn't resist).

    Randy

  30. #30
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I wonder whose payroll this Nelson is on?

  31. #31
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    Thanks for the post. I wonder whose payroll this Nelson is on?
    There are a number of groups who oppose the PBR2, as has been mentioned. Jim told me that Senator Nelson was not a happy person when he left the Senate chambers.

    Randy

  32. #32
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Well.....sigh........no surprise.......a quick search will tell you all you need to know..................

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  33. #33
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Was Marco Rubio in attendence?
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  34. #34
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefoy84 View Post
    Was Marco Rubio in attendence?
    No, but he proxied his vote to go along Republican party lines, i.e., he voted against Nelson's amendments to the Manchin amendment.

    Randy

  35. #35
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Too busy to show up for work!

    What is Bill Nelson's axe to grind here?
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  36. #36

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    Ok, who is this Bill Nelson, what state is he from, what rock did he crawl out from, and why is he so anti aviation?

  37. #37
    180Marty's Avatar
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    a quick search will tell you all you need to know
    I see he's a lawyer, career politician, and went on a space shuttle ride. Still haven't figured it out.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefoy84 View Post
    Too busy to show up for work!
    its easy to think that but after being on the Hill some 15 times in the past 10 years you soon realize just how BUSY the Capital really is with many many committee hearings and rules committees often meeting simultaneously and then there's floor votes being called happening with often short notice. Most members I've met take their voting responsibilities very seriously, after all someone is always keeping score.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    I see he's a lawyer, career politician, and went on a space shuttle ride. Still haven't figured it out.
    He's a deputy Whip, meaning he's part of his (D) party leadership so I'm guessing the FAA, ALPA, Insurance industry or the AME group (or likely multiples thereof) has gone to him with proposed changes he can use in a party fight and/or he's perhaps he's looking for a compromise on something Senator Inhofe controls via his Chairmanship of Senate EPW ( Enviroment and Public Works Committee, think EPA and USArmy Corps of Engineers...)
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 11-18-2015 at 10:13 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  40. #40

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    So, bottom line is, this Bill Nelson thinks he's important. A long time ago a very good man told me that "serving in congress was meant to be a short tem public service--not a career. Those words come to mind when reading the above posts.

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