Your Action Pays off
On June 4th the United States House of Representatives agreed to an amendment to the 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that struck a provision that would have overturned the U.S. Department of Transportation lobby ban. The measure was approved on the House floor reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
The Amendment offered by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) along with Mr. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mr. Ribble (R-WI), eliminates a provision in the 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations act that would have allowed the Secretary of Transportation to discuss motorcycle safety initiatives with state legislators. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation thanks Congressman Walberg, Sensenbrenner, and Ribble for their dedication to freedom and motorcycling.
In 1998 Congress passed a law that made it illegal for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to lobby state legislatures on any issue. Prior to 1998, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), USDOT had spent tens of thousands of dollars traveling to states whenever a state debated changing their own state helmet law or any other law that USDOT deemed worthy to interfere on. Seeing this as a waste of taxpayer money, the congress prohibited anyone from USDOT to lobby states uninvited.
Mr. Walberg had this to say, “The federal government should not be in the business of lobbying state and local officials with federal money.” He added, “I believe the most effective way to reduce motorcycle injuries and fatalities is to prevent these crashes from occurring in the first place, Madam Chairperson, that means putting between the ears as opposed to simply on the head.”
See the Walberg video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHIMdT7ycfc
“I cannot think of a single issue where the federal government should waste resources lobbying a state entity for something that the state doesn't want”, said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. He added “With such limited, precious motorcycle safety funds, they need to be used in areas of safety that are proven, not for bureaucratic waste.”
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) thanks everyone who made calls on this important issue; your participation was key in getting this amendment to pass.