The “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ (aka the bailout plan) is loaded with provisions intended to attract the votes of lawmakers that were previously in the “no” column. Among them is the Bike Commuter Act, a piece of legislation long-supported by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon (District 3). It has been suggested that Rep. Blumenauer is being specifically targeted with the inclusion of this provision.
Sec. 211, the “Transportation Fringe Benefit to Bicycle Commuters”, would provide a $20 per month reimbursement to “qualified” bike commuters. A qualified commuter is someone who:
“(I) regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment, and
“(II) does not receive any benefit described in subparagraph (A), (B),
23 or (C) of paragraph (1).”.
As of right now, it doesn’t appear the Bike Commuter Act provision will change Blumenauer’s mind. This is his statement from yesterday afternoon:
I continue to think that we need more protections for taxpayer and bankruptcy fairness which will do more to stop the free fall than anything else.
Obviously, this is a dynamic economic situation and many things are in play. I am listening carefully and closely monitoring the situation.
Knowing what I know now in terms of our economic situation and with this bill in its current form, absent some dramatic change in circumstances, I have no plans to support the bailout legislation.
The House votes on the bill today.
View the full text of the bill here (see page 205-207) →