02NR31 - Powerful Congressmen Co-Sponsor Barcia Act

Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

Contact: Tom Wyld
Phone: 202-546-0983
October 10, 2002


U.S. Representatives Jerry Weller (R-Illinois) and Don Young (R-Alaska) - two leading MRF Champions of Motorcyclists' Rights & Safety - have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 5433 - "The Motorcycle & Motorcycling Small Business Protection Act."

MAJOR GRASSROOTS ACTION...This major development follows vigorous grassroots action by ABATE of Illinois and ABATE of Alaska, and was buttressed by the visit to Washington, DC, this week by Steve Zimmer and Hairy George of ABATE of Ohio. In addition to visiting several Ohio lawmakers, the ABATE-MRF team paid a call on Congressmen Young and Jim Barcia (D-Michigan), lead sponsor of the legislation. The JOBS, JOBS, JOBS theme rang in every office: for each Congressman visited, the ABATE of Ohio team had identified as many as 50-plus motorcycling small businesses threatened by the EPA's overly restrictive rule on street bikes.

CONGRESS SEEKS DELAY IN STREET BIKE RULE...Owing to grassroots action by ABATE of Illinois and technical support by the MRF, Congressmen Tim Johnson, John Shimkus and Don Manzullo signed an appeal to the EPA to extend the deadline for public comment on the street bike rule until January 8, 2003. "The cost effectiveness and safety issues regarding this proposed rule are the primary, though certainly not the sole, areas of concern raised by small business owners, motorcycle riders, and other stakeholders in our districts," the Congressmen wrote. "Three months is simply insufficient time for affected parties to thoroughly examine - and the EPA to properly address - the impact [the rule] will have on our constituents."

EPA ENFORCEMENT BOOSTED...For those who think the EPA won't enforce its regulations - think again. This week, House appropriators restored $10.4 million in cuts sought by the Bush Administration to the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. That money will fund 88 of the 95 enforcement positions eliminated under the president's budget proposal. "We're addressing the need to have an enforcement program at the EPA that fully ensures the environmental laws of the country are being enforced," said U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York) who seeks even more money for EPA's enforcement arm.

SOMEONE IS LOBBYING YOUR CONGRESSMEN; IT'S TIME YOUR REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENT YOU!...This week we learned that someone is telling your Congressmen that they need not sign on as co-sponsors of H.R. 5433. We do not know who is lobbying against you, but we do know what is being said. Your Congressman is being told that H.R. 5433 can't make it into law this year, so he/she can always wait until the 108th Congress convenes next year to do something for you.


First, the MRF and SMROs are working with key Congressmen NOW to pass H.R 5433 into law THIS YEAR. Second, if your Congressman waits until next year, it will be too late - too late for your rights and safety and too late for small business jobs - because the EPA's final rule on street bikes will be a done deal - complete with nearly 100 new "enforcers."

In short, your Congressman's name belongs on H.R. 5433, and it belongs there NOW!

Here's what to do:

1. Pick up the phone and call your Congressman (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121).

2. Tell your Congressman that H.R. 5433 co-sponsors now include Don Young, powerful Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, who has a keen sense of the billions of gallons of fuel an increase in motorcycling can save. Tell your Representative that his/her name is noticeable by its absence on the H.R. 5433 co-sponsorship list.

3. Brief your Congressman that the EPA is pushing California-style over-regulation that has put the hurt on motorcycling in that state. In 1992, 278,000 new motorcycles were sold in the United States, with sales topping 710,000 in 2000. If motorcycling in California grew at the same pace as motorcycling across America, California should now boast as many as 1.5 million gas-miserly, congestion-busting motorcycles. In California, however, from 1992 to 2000, MOTORCYCLE REGISTRATION DROPPED from almost 650,000 to less than 400,000. Over-regulation is the cause - and the EPA is now proposing the same sort of over-regulation that sent California motorcycling spiraling downward.

With the U.S. House of Representatives passing a resolution this week to allow the use of force against Iraq, U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a FRONT-AND-CENTER issue. So is the survival of jobs, jobs, jobs - in the aftermarket, among small-volume motorcycle makers and in dozens of custom shops in every Congressional district in America.

Urge your Congressman to slash dependence on foreign oil, cut pollution and save small business jobs! URGE HIM/HER TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 5433!

- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org

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