By Keith Laing - 10/21/13 01:00 PM EDT
Lawmakers had begun pushing for the bill prior to the shutdown of the federal government that began Oct. 1, but the measure lost momentum amid talks about the federal government's overall funding and raising the national debt limit.
Additionally this week, eyes will turn to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the agency gears up to announce its decision on allowing airline passengers to keep their electronic devices on during flights.
The decision, which has been widely expected, was said to be delayed by the government shutdown.
The FAA had been planning to receive a recommendation from a committee it created to study the impact of electronic devices on airplane safety equipment at the beginning of October. However, the Department of Transportation included “aviation rulemaking” on its list of FAA activities that would be suspended if the government shut down, which it did on Oct. 1.
The agency has been facing pressure from lawmakers and airline passengers to relax its current prohibition on the use of all electronics when airplanes are below 10,000 feet.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has promised to introduce legislation to force the FAA’s hand if the agency does not relent on its electronics prohibition on its own.
The FAA has said that it is considering letting airline passengers to use their tablets and electronic reading devices, but the agency is not considering allowing cellphone use other than times when flights are on the ground.