House Passes HR 2691

On April 21st the House of Representatives under suspension of rules took up and passed by voice vote HR 2691, the National Highway Safety Administration Reauthorization Act of 1998. Offered by Congressman Bliley (R-VA), this bill contains language that will limit the ability of NHTSA to lobby at the state level. That language is as follows:

SEC.3 Restrictions on Lobbying Activities.
Subchapter I of Chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
§ 30105. Restriction on lobbying activities "No funds appropriated to the Secretary pursuant to section30104 or 32102 may be available for any activity specifically designed to urge a State or local legislator to favor or oppose the adoption of any specific legislative proposal pending before any State or local legislature.".

At this time there is no companion bill on the Senate side to match this legislation. The MRF feels this could not have come at a better time given the House and Senate are currently conferencing the differences between the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act II (ISTEA II - S 1173) and Building Efficient Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (BESTEA - HR 2400). Passage of HR 2691 will add strength to the language proposed in ISTEA II and make a statement that the House considers this a relevant issue necessary for inclusion into the conference discussions.

Steve Zimmer of the MRF stated, "The vote on HR 2691 sends a strong message that the House is concerned about the use of federal tax dollars being used by NHTSA to lobby at State legislatures around the country. Motorcyclists' Rihgts activists should not be forced to fight their own tax dollars at their state capitols." The stage is set for the Senate to take action on this free standing bill.

For further information contact Steve Zimmer at 202-546-0983 or by Email at steve@mrf.org.


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