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UPDATED: Potential Attack on Federal Bike Funding!
UPDATED: House leadership has pulled the Transportation Appropriations bill from the floor. Debate and voting have been postponed until September. Senate Majority Leader Reid has filed for cloture on the the Senate Transportation Appropriations, meaning that the Senate will vote tomorrow to end debate and move on to actual votes on the bill. We will continue to monitor Senate Amendments and update the blog if we see any anti- bike amendments are scheduled for Thursday’s debate and voting.
Also yesterday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced amendment 1798 to the Transportation Appropriations bill to strip the Transportation Alternatives Program of all funds. The Senate takes up their transportation fundng bill today again, but neither Rand 1742 or Lee 1798 are on the schedule
The House will be pulling an all-nighter Tuesday to talk transportation funding, and biking and walking dollars could be on the chopping block.
We are preparing for a late-night attack on biking and walking funding and we are asking for your help. Look for a Tweet on Tuesday night alerting you to an attack — and asking you to Tweet at your members of Congress.
Each year Congress debates a series of appropriations bills that together make up the annual budget. This week both the House and the Senate are debating the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations.
Last week we reported on amendment 1742 by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to strip funding for biking and walking in the Senate’s version of the bill. We were able to alert you because his amendment was public as debate began. Your emails and calls — some 6,500 from League members — have created action and some key Senators on both sides are standing in opposition to the amendment. If you haven’t weighed in yet, please do so. The Senate takes up the bill again starting today — and we will keep you informed on the amendment status.
We may not be so lucky in the House.
The House of Representatives will be debating the Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill under an open rule, meaning anyone can introduce an amendment at any time. We are concerned we’ll see a copy cat amendment to Paul’s in the House.
The House will start the debate at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with the goal of continuing until they finish. This means we could see an amendment at 6 p.m. or as late as 3 a.m. —and with only an hour or so of notice. It also means that emails to the offices will likely sit unopened until after the vote. We’ll need to get folks to weigh in fast, and in a format that members and their staff see right away.
We are asking you to be prepared on Tuesday evening to tweet your member of Congress asking them to vote NO on any amendment that will harm funding for biking and walking. We will send you the amendment number, the name of the sponsor and the content of the amendment, as soon as we hear an amendment has been introduced. Please retweet that message using your Representative’s handle – and send it through your networks.
We want to make sure Congress knows we’re watching, and that any late night attempt to cut Transportation Alternatives or otherwise harm biking and walking, will be protested by their constituents. Both the House and Senate go on a month-long recess on Friday so they need to finish this week.
We’ll be watching — stay tuned!