Here is an additional argument to convince representatives feeling uneasy in supporting the exemption for the Delta Queen:

Even if the Congress gives the exemption this doesn't mean the Delta Queen will be directly allowed to sail on. The exemption ONLY gives permission to the Coast Guard to issue a certificate of inspection to the Delta Queen at all, i.e. if she meets the requirements of the Coast Guard. The Safety at Sea Act / SOLAS only says that the Coast Guard MUST NOT issue a certificate of inspection to ships that have wooden superstructure. An exemption from Congress just gives the Coast Guard the full freedom and responsibility on whether to issue a certificate or not.

A Congressman voting for the exemption will not be responsible for anything that might happen to the Delta Queen - like Rep. Oberstar is stressing all the time (hundreds of passengers sleeping while the boat is on fire ...). It'll be the Coast Guard's responsibility to issue or refuse the certificate of inspection.

Let your Representatives know that it might be a good idea to let the Coast Guard decide when issuing their certificates of inspection, not the Congress upfront. The Coast Guard for sure knows much more about the safety of the Delta Queen than any Congressman will ever be able to learn bout her (or at least it's the Coast Guard's duty to know).

Decisions should be made by the people who know best. Hence, give the Congress' exemption to the Delta Queen and then let the Coast Guard do their job as they always did for the last couple of decades.