This post continues from our previous discussion of the Delta Queen’s Congressional struggle to be allowed to continue operation…

THE RECENT STRUGGLE

AND THEN…A NEW BILL WAS SUBMITTED

Steve Chabot

Steve Chabot

In October 2007, Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot introduced House Resolution 3852 to extend the Delta Queen’s exemption.

BLOCKED BY OBERSTAR

James Oberstar

James Oberstar

Congressman Chabot’s bill has been consistently blocked from moving through the House Transportation Committee by Committee Chairman James Oberstar (Democrat-Minnesota) who has complete and sole control of what bills will proceed through his committee to the be voted on by Congress. [Personal opinion warning: Way too much power for any one person!] Congressman Oberstar cites safety concerns despite the fact that he previously has voted for the boat’s exemption.

THE APRIL AMENDMENT ATTEMPT
In April 2008, Congressman Chabot attempted to attach the Delta Queen’s exemption to the Coast Guard appropriation bill in a manner that has been done on previous occasions. The House Rules Committee (which decides what amendments will be added to what bills) voted 9 to 4 against allowing the amendment. All votes against the amendment were cast by Democrats. It is one of the more tragic aspects of this battle that this issue has become partisan as Democrats have lined up behind powerful Congressman James Oberstar.

On April 24, 2008, Congressman Chabot’s Motion to Recommit (which allows the members of Congress to vote on whether an amendment can be added to a bill) failed by only 7 votes. SEVEN VOTES! And 28 members did not even bother to vote. Inexplicably, the representatives of many more river communities – who cherish the historical significance of the boat and the economic tourism boost it brings to their communities – also voted no.

To see how your representative voted, click the following link to view a report in an attached Microsoft Word file.

How Congress Voted

There is so much more to this struggle. Check back for more on the Delta Queen’s struggles in the next post. A comprehensive overview soon will be posted HERE.

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