Big Victory for Street Riders in DC, but....

The street riders of this great country scored a major victory recently in the U.S. House of Representatives. The “Walberg Amendment” to the 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill struck a provision that would have overturned the U.S. Department of Transportation lobby ban. The lobby ban prohibits the US  Department of Transportation from using taxpayer money to lobby states to pass mandatory helmet laws. The success of this amendment helps guarantee that we will be able to work with our state legislators on helmet issues without federal interference, so this is a huge victory for riders.

This is great news, but our work isn’t done. Let’s take a quick look at some of the numbers from the vote. The amendment passed 235 to 189, that’s a little too close for my taste.

There were 228 Republicans that voted for the amendment and 12 that voted against.

There were 177 Democrats who voted against the amendment and 7 that voted in favor, 2 of those Democrats are from Minnesota so job well done, clearly we are able to reach across both sides of aisle in support of or freedom of the road in Minnesota.

If you are represented by one of the following please contact them to say thank you for their support; U.S. Representatives Collin Peterson, Tim Walz, John Kline, Tom Emmer, and Eric Paulsen.

If you are represented by one of the following who voted against the amendment you have some work to do; U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison, Rick Nolan, and Betty McCollum.

If you choose to contact these folks please be polite and respectful but be sure to express your concern with their votes. When we look at how our Congressional delegation voted on this amendment it could be a telling sign on how they would vote on some form of national helmet legislation. Click on the following link if you want to see how the votes went.

In closing I just want of re-emphasize that this is a huge victory for street riders, I want to thank all of you that responded to the call to action and I want to thank all of you that have worked hard to establish positive relationships with our elected officials. Your hard work and dedication has paid off. We also need to recognize the great work of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The price of freedom isn’t free so please consider joining the MRF today to help keep the fight alive in Washington D.C.

Todd Riba

MN MRF State Rep