Last week both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate swore in its body for the 113th Congress. Washington D.C. has a whole lot of new faces with this Congress. The US House has 82 new freshman members out of 435 and the Senate has 13 new Senators, out of 100
That's a lot of new people for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to get to know. The majority remains the same, albeit more Democrats were elected than Republicans in both chambers. The House remains under Republican control and the Senate continues to be led by the Democrats. Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid were both, as expected, re-elected to retain their positions.
In the House we have a new Transportation Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania. If his name sounds familiar it's because his father Bud ran the same committee from 1995-2001 when the national helmet law was repealed.
It has only been a week but this Congress is expected to be a busy one filled with controversial legislation. Especially considering the lack luster performance of the 112th Congress.
What a difference a week makes. This time last week you couldn't swing a cat without hitting some media reference to the "Fiscal Cliff", or the point in time when many tax cuts expire and many new taxes are implemented. This would result in a sharp increase for almost every American's personal taxes. The Congress and the White House did reach a last minute deal that would push the so called "cliff" just a little farther down the road. This solution was done so at the expense of the American people. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated in the deal that the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases is 1-44. So we will be revisiting this same situation in a few months.
Some estimates say the bill will cost $620 Billion over ten years. One of the new tax credits is for motorcycles, but only all electric motorcycles. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon insisted that the electric motorcycles be included as part of the deal. The tax credit was not something the MRF advocated for. The credit was the result of direct lobbying by the electric motorcycle manufactures. The credit is good for 10% of the purchase of a brand new electric motorcycle.
Save the Date:
2013 Bikers Inside The Beltway is scheduled for May 16th, 2013 in Washington D.C.
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