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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Earl Blumenauer’s ‘bike-partisanship’ | Politico

Earl Blumenauer is pictured. | AP Photo
In the case of his bike bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer's outreach payed off. | AP Photo
Rep. Earl Blumenauer is always open to a legislative bike ride with Republicans.
In his latest effort, the bow-tied Oregon Democrat is offering a short and simple bill to ensure that federal regulators keep bicyclists and pedestrians in mind when setting safety standards for road projects. Blumenauer’s bill has two Republican co-sponsors who aren’t exactly known for working on bike issues: Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina, a senior member of the Transportation Committee who is retiring after next year, and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas.
The bipartisan support for the pro-biking, pro-walking measure stretches into the Senate, too. A version in the upper chamber attracted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, who co-sponsored the bill along with Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Brian Schatz of Hawaii when it was introduced last week.
As with other transportation bills this year both big and small, Blumenauer hopes that a good bipartisan showing will help his measure cut through Congress’s usual legislative gridlock and partisan warfare.

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