Bike Commuter Act on Capitol Hill last March.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)
[See below for YouTube version of McHenry’s statement.]
(Note: The title of this post was originally, “Benefits fraud may stymie progress on Bike Commuter Act.” I changed it to better reflect the situation.).
I just got an email from Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s legislative assistant Katie Drennan. She said that although there is considerable momentum for the Bike Commuter Act (42 co-sponsors so far), there’s a situation brewing on the Hill that might cause a bump in the road.
Tomorrow morning, after a speech by Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar, Earl Blumenauer plans to re-introduce his Bike Commuter Benefits Act in a press conference on Capitol Hill.
Blumenauer just finished a speech at the opening of the National Bike Summit and he hinted at this news when he confidently said,
“With the congressional shift in Washington, It’s nice to be in a position where I can introduce legislation. The Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act will get a hearing and I think we can get it through this time.”
The Act has been around for years, but went nowhere in the old Congress.
[I received this information from an inside source in the Oregon bike advocacy scene, I will post a link to the full press release when it is available online.]
This just in from the office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore):
‘Conserve By Bike’ Provision Included in Energy Bill
$6.2 Million Pilot Program Designed to Spur Bike Use
WASHINGTON, DC – A new pilot program designed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D – Ore) has been included into the final version of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The initiative, called “Conserve By Bike,” establishes within the Department of Transportation a program to oversee up to 10 pilot projects across the country designed to conserve energy resources by providing education and marketing tools to convert car trips to bike trips…
…Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the legislation, and the Senate followed suit this afternoon. It is widely expected that the President will sign the legislation in the coming days.