As reported by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation in a previous release, the US Congress has passed the much anticipated highway funding legislation.
The bill soared through both chambers this afternoon. Both chambers did have some nay votes, all coming from Republicans because of a few riders that were attached concerning student loan rates and the national flood insurance program. President Obama is expected to grant the measure swift passage into law.
The Highway Bill has been in the past, a vehicle for pro and anti-motorcycle issues. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has worked closely with the primary authors of the legislation to ensure that this bill was all pro-motorcycle and had no anti-motorcycling issues.
The bill continues the grant program that was designed and implemented into law in 2005 by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), along with many State Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SMROs). Since 2005, the program has infused over $46 million dollars directly into the motorcycle safety community. By law, the cash can only be used on rider education and motorist awareness campaigns. The new program continues this tradition.
Historically, the bill has been used to implement nationwide mandatory helmet laws. Due to the hard work of the citizen lobbyist motorcyclists of this country, that’s not the case this time. Such good work in fact that there was never any official talk of attaching a helmet law on this bill. The last time Congress passed a highway bill, Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) offered an amendment on the floor of the Senate, just prior to passage. That amendment was defeated 68-29.
The MRF would like to thank everyone who has helped work on this legislation by coming to DC, making calls, and visiting with their Members of Congress. The reauthorization of the Highway Bill goes through 2014 and is expected to cost roughly $120 billion dollars.