05NR11 - Lautenberg Amendment Defeated in Senate

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

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations
jeff@mrf.org (e-mail)

May 12, 2005

#05NR11 - Lautenberg Amendment Defeated in Senate

Lautenberg Amendment Defeated in Senate

The United States Senate yesterday soundly defeated, by a 69 to 28 vote, an amendment offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would have reinstated federal penalties on states that do not have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. Citing the recent United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT) FARS Data, Sen. Lautenberg urged his colleagues to pass his amendment "to save lives and diminish the public burden placed on taxpayers by injured motorcyclists." Speaking in opposition to the amendment, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and floor manager of the Highway Bill (HR 3), advocated motorcycle training and safety programs have been proven to save more lives. Sen. Inhofe referred to the recent findings of the California Study as proof. He further stated his opposition to federal mandates on the states.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) would like to thank all motorcyclists who called their senators over the past two days. "This is a stunning victory, and a glowing tribute to our ability to mobilize. There is no doubt the phones were ringing in Senate offices, and those calls resulted in yesterday's victory." Said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations. He further stated, "Sen. Lautenberg did us a favor. By offering this amendment, and bringing the vote, the United States Senate is now on record on both state's rights, and congressional involvement with motorcycle helmet issues."

"Yesterday's vote sends a clear message to NHTSA regarding congressional intent and motorcycling issues." Said Karen Bolin, MRF President. "By supporting the MRF’s safety language in the Highway Bill, and sending the Lautenberg amendment to overwhelming defeat, the Senate has indicated the direction NHTSA should be looking."

The official record of the Senate Vote is listed below:
YEAs ---28
Akaka (D-HI)
Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Chafee (R-RI)
Corzine (D-NJ)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dole (R-NC)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Frist (R-TN)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Martinez (R-FL)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---69
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Roberts (R-KS)
Salazar (D-CO)
Santorum (R-PA)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Not Voting - 3
Coleman (R-MN)
Dayton (D-MN)
Domenici (R-NM)


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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

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