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By March 15, 2020General Posts

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.

Meeting with Our Friends

Over the past two weeks, we have spent time following up with some of our best friends and staunchest allies on Capitol Hill. This was an opportunity to touch base on the priorities of the MRF and prep them for your visits in May.

Congressman Peterson (D-MN) – A long time champion of the motorcycle community, Congressman Peterson is this year’s MRF Legislator of the Year in the House of Representatives. Like last year, we are hoping to present his MRF vest in front of the Capitol during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Also, be on the lookout in the next issue or two for an article in the American Biker Journal authored by Congressman Peterson. He stepped up again to be one of the original cosponsors of the profiling resolution.

Congressman Pocan (D-WI) – Congressman Pocan is one of the four original cosponsors of our profiling resolution and has been a cosponsor all three times the resolution has been introduced in the House. He is a leader of the Progressive Caucus in Congress and his office has committed to help drive additional cosponsors.

Congressman Raskin (D-MD) – The Congressman is a member of the Judiciary Committee and previously was a champion for motorcycle rights when serving in the state capitol in Annapolis. Congressman Raskin’s staff has pledged to reach out to the Judiciary Committee staff and advocate for the discharge of our profiling resolution so it can be voted on.

Congressman Stauber (R-MN) – Many of you should remember Congressman Stauber from Meeting of the Minds when he spoke on Saturday night at the awards dinner. The Congressman is a member of the House Transportation Committee and also a former member of law enforcement. We encouraged him to fight for our priorities in any planned transportation bills and thanked him for his support of our profiling resolution. He specifically mentioned the need for fixes to our crumbling infrastructure and the hazards that failing roads and bridges have on the safety of motorcyclists.

Congressman Walberg (R-MI) – A rider himself and the co-chairman of the House Motorcycle Caucus Congressman Walberg sits on the important Energy and Commerce Committee. While discussing a variety of motorcycle issues, his staff went out of their way to say he is on top of any autonomous vehicle legislation as it concerns motorcycles.  The Congressman popped his head into the meeting for just enough time to share a story about riding in the sidecar of ABATE of Michigan’s President Vince Consiglio’s motorcycle a few years back.

Thank you to the riders in Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and around the country who have helped build these relationships with lawmakers. Having friends on Capitol Hill who understand our community and have a personal connection with you, their constituents, is invaluable.

Closed to the Public

Thursday afternoon, it was announced that the U.S. Capitol and Congressional Office Buildings would be closed to the public until April 1st. This is a major development for an institution that prides itself on open access to the public. The D.C. team had a dozen meetings scheduled over the next 10 days, all of which are in the process of being canceled or turned into phone meetings. While we prefer to do our meetings face to face, we understand the concerns of Congressional staff. We will continue to work on your behalf in the appropriate manner.

Like much of American society, the schedule for Congress is influx at the moment. We will keep you posted on developments here in Washington and provide status updates as they become available.