Each year Congress debates a series of appropriations bills that together make up the annual budget. This week both the House and the Senate are debating the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations.
Last week we reported on amendment 1742 by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to strip funding for biking and walking in the Senate's version of the bill. We were able to alert you because his amendment was public as debate began. Your emails and calls were part of 6,500 that Congress received, which prompted some key Senators on both sides to stand in opposition to the amendment. If you haven't weighed in yet, . The Senate takes up the bill again starting today.
WE MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY IN THE HOUSE.
The House of Representatives will be debating the Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill under an open rule, meaning anyone can introduce an amendment at any time. We are concerned we’ll see a copy cat amendment to Paul’s in the House
The House will be pulling an all-nighter tonight to talk transportation funding, and biking and walking dollars could be on the chopping block.
The House will start the debate at 3:30 p.m. today with the goal of continuing until they finish. This means we could see an amendment at 6 p.m. or as late as 3 a.m. —and with only an hour or so of notice. It also means that emails to the offices will likely sit unopened until after the vote. We'll need to get folks to weigh in fast, and in a format that members and their staff see right away.
We are asking you to be prepared this afternoon/evening to tweet your member of Congress asking them to vote NO on any amendment that will harm funding for biking and walking. We will post the amendment number, the name of the sponsor and the content of the amendment, as soon as we learn that an amendment has been introduced. When we do, please retweet that message using your Representative's handle - and send it through your networks.
We want to make sure Congress knows we’re watching, and that any late night attempt to cut Transportation Alternatives or otherwise harm biking and walking, will be protested by their constituents. Both the House and Senate go on a month-long recess on Friday so they need to finish this week.