MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
For Immediate Release
9 July 2009
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President
of Government Relations
jeff at mrf.org
DON'T CALL IT A CLUNKER!
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation
(MRF) recently notified you about the new
federal law that hands out vouchers for older vehicles when purchasing new
vehicles. It started out as "Cash for Clunkers," and has evolved into the
CARS or Car Allowance Rebate System. Basically, when you trade in an
older car or truck to participating dealerships, you can get up to $4500
from the federal government to put toward a new vehicle purchase or lease.
Currently the program does not make any allowance for motorcycles.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) wants to
change that. Senate Bill 1248 would
allow for the inclusion of motorcycles in this program. SB1248 would
allow up to $2500 for a motorcycle trade. Under SB1248 you could trade in
a car or a motorcycle for a new motorcycle, or an older motorcycle for new
bike or car at a participating dealership.
Senator Casey isn't trying to rid
the country of older motorcycles; he's
trying to help some 2600 constituents from losing their jobs. It's not a
secret that the York, PA Harley Davidson plant has fallen on rough times.
Harley laid off 400 employees in January, and things haven't gotten
better. According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article, a Harley
Davidson spokesperson admitted that the idea of moving the York plant was
on the table, and mentioned an internal study being done to assess the
viability of the plant. Additional concerns include a major union
contract that is up in 2010.
Harley has to take care of Harley,
and Senator Casey has to take care of
his constituents, and they both happen to benefit from this legislation.
The MRF has been assured that Senator Casey absolutely did not introduce
this legislation at the request of Harley Davidson, but to help his
constituents keep their jobs. If Harley sells more motorcycles, it bodes
well for the citizens of York, PA.
Senator Casey's bill would allow
motorcycles into the CARS program, but
many of the details are vague. For instance, S1248 would allow for
motorcycles to be eligible for the voucher from January 1, 2009 until 3
years after enactment. However, the CARS program expires on November 1,
2009 or when the funds run out, whichever comes first.
Certainly it's important to watch
for accelerated end of useful life
programs such as these. Temporary can become permanent with the simple
stroke of a pen. The MRF believes that even the suggestion of a permanent
program would warrant an all out opposition. However, the short-term
nature of this particular program should be treated more as a warning sign
of what we need to be ready to confront in the future. We do want
motorcycles to receive the same respect and treatment as automobiles, but
not at the detriment of risking losing certain communities or freedoms
within the world of motorcycling.
For more information on the existing
CARS program for autos, visit
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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.