Today we have sent a national alert asking you to call, e-mail or fax your Senators and ask them to protect funding for critical and popular bicycling and walking programs – please take a moment to do this if you haven’t already.
Click the picture to take action.
The good news is that we understand leaders of the House and Senate have agreed on a six-month “clean” extension of the current transportation programs that would preserve the transportation enhancements and other key funding programs for bicycling and walking infrastructure. That will give them six months to continue their work on writing a new transportation program for the longer term. We do not have to take action on the House side as we expect the House to pass it out.
The bad news is that Senator Coburn (R-OK) is still planning on introducing an amendment to strip the enhancements program from the otherwise clean extension. This is no idle threat. Two years ago a similar effort by Coburn was defeated by 59-39 and it’s a very different Congress today than it was in 2009. The additional reality is that if Coburn decides to pick this one issue on which to filibuster – and there’s every reason to believe he will – we will need not just a majority but a super majority of 60 Senators to vote to end a filibuster. That’s a real challenge on almost any issue these days.
So we need to take this threat seriously and contact our Senators today. The ask is pretty simple – “please support a clean extension to current transportation funding and please support continued dedicated funding for bicycling and walking programs in the next transportation authorization.” (Until we see the specific wording we won’t know whether we are asking for a vote for or against his amendment – last time the wording was such that a “no” vote was a vote “for” the enhancements programs.) Let’s send a strong and unmistakable message to Congress that investing in a smart, sustainable transportation system for the 21st century, one that offers choice and safety for all, includes dedicated funding for bicycling and walking.
The blog post from last week (read it for more details on the debate in Congress) went viral. We’ve sen an impressive response to the advocacy alert already. Thank you to all those would acted then. Please continue to spread the word to other supporters of bicycling and transportation options. Have you made the I Bike. I Vote. graphic your facebook picture yet?
Andy Clarke was appointed to the position of Executive Director in April of 2004 after successfully leading efforts to create, interpret and implement the various transportation programs that are available to improve conditions for bicycling and walking as the League’s State and Local Advocacy Director. Before joining the League in February 2003, Clarke was on contract to provide technical assistance to the highly regarded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center on site at the Federal Highway Administration. He is on the Board of Directors for America Bikes, and a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.