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.
Rules, Rules, Rules…
Just past midnight on Wednesday night, in a committee room inside the U.S. Capitol the issue of motorcycle profiling received a brief debate and roll call vote before the Rules Committee. How did that happen? Well Congressman Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) used the appropriations amendment process to force Congress to vote on the issue of motorcycle profiling.
The gridlock that grips Congress means that few stand-alone bills pass both the Senate and the House. However, appropriations bills, which fund the government have to pass, if they don’t a government shutdown ensues. These must pass appropriations bills become a key tool for lawmakers to press legislative priorities. If they can attach an amendment to a bill that has to pass, the legislative priority becomes law. However, the amendment offered must be related to the appropriations bill in some way. Congressman Walberg and Congressman Burgess drafted the following amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Transportation:
AMENDMENT TO DIVISION E OF RULES COMMITTEE PRINT 116–18 OFFERED BY MR. WALBERG OF MICHIGAN
SEC. ll. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration for activities intended to encourage states to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.
Before the full House of Representatives votes on the appropriations bill and the amendments the Rules Committee holds a hearing to decide what will go to the floor for a full vote. Unfortunately, the Rules Committee is the most partisan committee in the House and because our two main champions are Republicans the chances of the Rules Committee allowing this amendment to proceed were slim. On a strict party line vote the amendment was defeated 8 to 4.
While it’s disappointing that the full House of Representatives was not allowed to vote on this amendment it was a solid step forward in the debate about motorcycle profiling. Additionally, this does not stop our campaign to have H. Res 255 passed by the House of Representatives. In truth this should further energize us. The full House of Representatives should be allowed to vote on H. Res 255 and the issue of motorcycle profiling should not be blocked by the vote of just 8 lawmakers.
Click here and skip to the 7 hour 4 minute 15 second mark to watch the debate and vote.
Ride to Work Day
Monday, June 17th was the 28th annual “Ride to Work Day.” While we at the MRF don’t need a special day to ride our motorcycles it was nice to get an email from Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) with the following message, “I am a lifelong motorcycle rider and a big advocate for motorcycle awareness and safety. This national ride to work, let’s celebrate our biker community and keep the roads safe.”
Congressman Balderson sent us this picture of him on his bike Monday headed to his congressional district office in Worthington, Ohio. Thanks to Congressman Balderson for being a true champion of the motorcycle community.
Your Team in D.C. Rocky & Tiffany
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.
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