Bikers Inside the Beltway 2011
12th, 2011 was the 3rd Annual Michael "Boz" Kerr Bikers Inside the Beltway
event in Washington, DC. The event is a national lobby day, sponsored by
the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, for motorcyclists to come to Capitol
Hill to meet with their elected officials and brief them on all issues
affecting motorcyclists at the federal level.
This year's event
drew hundreds of motorcyclists from 20 States and met with almost 250
elected officials. Some folks rode in from as far away as Arizona,
California, and Oklahoma.
One of the top issues the attendees were
lobbying for was asking their members of the US House of Representatives
to sign onto a "dear colleague" letter sponsored by Wisconsin
Representative James Sensenbrenner. The "dear colleague" being circulated
by Sensenbrenner asks his fellow Members of Congress to sign onto a letter
that will go to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The letter asks that the
language of H.R. 904 and House Resolution 239 be included in the large
Highway Bill that the committee will be drafting later this year. H.R. 904
is a bill that would prohibit future funding of mandatory motorcycle-only
roadside checkpoints and H. Res. 239 supports the NHTSA lobby ban and asks
the agency to focus on crash prevention rather than injury reduction when
addressing motorcycle safety.
During the Congressional Panel
portion of the day, the group of riders gathered in a Ways and Means
Committee room to hear from a select group of Members of Congress.
Addressing the group was Congressman Burgess, the Motorcycle safety caucus
co-chair, Mr. Walberg, an avid rider from Michigan, Mr Pallone, a strong
supporter of motorcyclists and a 13 term congressman from New Jersey.
Wrapping up the day was Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, a presidential
hopeful in 2012 and an outstanding advocate for motorcyclists. Thanks to
all of these Members of Congress for helping make the day even better.
Another highlight of the day was the news that Congressmen Reid
Ribble (R-WI) was added to the powerful House Transportation Committee.
Congressman Ribble is an avid rider, so he will be a strong advocate and a
real asset to the motorcycle community. We look forward to continuing to
work with Congressmen Ribble in his new role. Thanks to all who attended
and to those who helped support those who attended. This year was a