Wednesday, September 14, 2011

House Passes Clean Extension--Critical Senate Vote Expected Friday

Yesterday, the House voted unanimously to extend the transportation bill for 6 months along with an extension to the Federal Aviation Act. (This is exactly what Rep. Mica promised he would never do and doesn't fulfill his desire to cut transportation spending by 30%, which he proposed in his reauthorization bill.) The Senate apparently plans to do the same this coming Friday. The extension will allow everyone to continue to work on the reauthorization , which is now expected to occur in March 2012.

This all sounds pretty good, except for one thing, in the Senate, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn is planning to file an amendment to cut Transportation Enhancements from the six-month extension any moment now.

That's why every bicycle/pedestrian organization blast out alerts yesterday for supporters of bike/ped funding to call their Senators. It's super important that Coburn's amendment fail, under any circumstances. If he wins, it makes fighting for bike/ped funding in the full reauthorization much more difficult.

So, if you haven't done so already, please contact your Senator and ask him to support Transportation Enhancements and to not support Senator Coburn's amendment to the extension of the Transportation Bill. Trails, bike lanes, racks on buses and safer intersections may not be important in Oklahoma, but we love them here in the Delaware Valley. Our Regional Trail Network has terrific momentum and Senator Coburn's amendment would pull the rug out from under it if it successfully yanks Transportation Enhancements. Remember, we're not asking for more money; just to preserve the funding that is already authorized and appropriated. BTW, yanking TE from this extension will do NOTHING for the deficit.

Send a letter today if you haven't already! You can edit the letter and tailor it in your own voice.