Alerts and other info from the MRF
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RIDING FREE FROM DC:
Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway
Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.
NEWS FROM THE HILL – Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Speeds Through Committee Plus Dissent in the Senate over Healthcare
Lawmakers in the House are now turning their attention to self-driving cars. On Tuesday, the House Commerce Subcommittee on consumer protection held a hearing on a slew of bills -- 13 in total -- to help scale back regulations and make it easier for autonomous vehicles to hit the road. Among the bills is a measure that would prohibit regulators from requiring pre-market approval for self-deriving cars. Another measure would give up to 100,000 cars a year exemptions from regulations that the industry says are geared toward traditional vehicles. Lawmakers also looked at legislation on how cars could share data and considered establishing a cybersecurity advisory panel as concerns grow over the self-driving vehicles' and the threat of hacks. The issue has been receiving more attention from Congress in the last few weeks, as lawmakers struggle to keep pace with the rapidly emerging new technology. The MRF is continuing to pound the pavement, making sure that motorcyclists have a voice and seat at the table when it comes to these types of vehicles.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shelved plans for the Senate to vote this week on the Republicans’ proposed Obamacare repeal, suffering an embarrassing setback as he acknowledged the bill he wrote failed to win over enough troops in his own party. Republican leaders insisted they will try again in July, but they struggled to explain how they might bridge the gap within their party, where conservatives want the bill to further dismantle Obamacare while moderates say it already goes too far. Critics of the Republican party and current Administration will undoubtedly chalk this up to a win. They have already been vocal about the lack of promises kept by the party including tax reform, infrastructure revitalization and now healthcare…stay tuned.
EXECUTIVE & REGULATORY UPDATES – EPA Funding Slashed, Pruitt Faces Tough Questions
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was on the Hill this week to testify for the second time on the administration's proposal to massively slash his agency's funding by 31%. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the committee, is already on the record as not being a big fan of EPA's proposed cuts. She noted that while she supports Pruitt’s approach of focusing on the EPA’s central responsibilities while steering away from the climate policies of the Obama administration, the current budget proposal is “in direct contrast” to such an approach. Pruitt defended the proposal saying that the Agency could live up to its mission and focus on safeguarding the nation’s air and water with better leadership and less waste. The Trump administration would reduce EPA’s funding by $2.4 billion annually — a larger percentage cut than at any other federal agency and eliminate all funding for research on climate change. Your MRF is watching the EPA closely, those who ride know that the Agency has always been a thorn in the side of motorcyclists.
NEWS FROM THE STATES: TEXAS – Motorcycle Safety Fund SLASHED
We received word from our partners in Texas this week that the Governor eliminated half of the funding for the Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Unit for the 2018-2019 calendar years. This set the Motorcycle Safety program back to 2005 levels; a scary thought when motorcyclist fatalities are increasing. Knowing the funding is vital, your MRF helped to spread the word by alerting our members in the State and drafting letters to be sent to both federal and state lawmakers as well as the Governor through our software program. In the meantime, our brothers and sisters in Texas are keeping the pressure up on lawmakers communicating that this is unacceptable. If you live in Texas or have family and friends in the state who ride, send them this link and ask for their help! It takes about 2 minutes and helps get us on the record as being OPPOSED!
TELL THE TEXAS GOVERNOR TO RESTORE FUNDING FOR MOTORCYCLE SAFETY!
Do you have state news you want to pass along? Send your updates to Megan@mrf.org
MRF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Help for Texas, Anti-Profiling Sponsors Grow...
Many of you have heard me preach about the fancy new software system the MRF acquired in January. It’s pretty damn impressive – I can draft a letter about profiling or how critical funding for motorcycle safety is and then send a link out via email or Facebook for people to send that letter that I drafted. It takes almost all of the work out of it for you. Because I know you have better things to do like work, spend time with the family or RIDE! Gone are the days where you have to look up your lawmaker’s phone number or address, write them a letter, stamp it and mail it. Now you can click on a link (like the one above) or visit our website http://mrf.org/federal-legislative-issues/ and simply type in your name and address. The software automatically finds your Member of Congress (at the federal AND state level) based off your address and then you can click “SUBMIT” after looking at the form letter that I drafted. You even have the option to edit it and personalize it to make it your own. How long does this take? Less than 2 minutes. Guaranteed. And the best part is…it makes a difference!
Take profiling for example. The profiling legislation in the House (H.Res.318) started out with 4 original cosponsors. That 4 grew to 7 during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Then we blasted the hill with constituent letters through our software…over 1800 letters were sent to almost every lawmaker in Washington. And guess what? That list of 7 has now doubled to 14. And all it took was a couple of clicks. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
These letters and communications help get us there. You’ve heard me say it before – the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So, take 2 minutes out of your day, and send a letter to your lawmaker. Right now, on our website you can send letters to your elected officials on profiling, the RPM Act and the Texas decision to slash motorcycle safety funding. And all it takes is a few minutes. So…bottom line…NO EXCUSES and start squeaking.
Vice-President of Government Affairs & Public Relations
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation
About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.
All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983