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Save the Delta Queen bill introduced to the U.S. Senate

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    Save the Delta Queen bill introduced to the U.S. Senate

    Senator George voinovich has introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate yesterday in order to save the Delta Queen. The bill number is "S. 3498", co-sponsors so far are Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), and Richard Lugar (R-Indiana).

    See steamboats.org news for more details: Sen. George Voinovich introduces bill to save the Delta Queen

    Now it's time for all of us to pull out all stops and contact our Senators immediately in person or at least visit their local offices, contact them by phone, by fax (don't try e-mail, it'll not get through to them). The campaign is gaining huge momentum now and if we can push this bill through the Senate, chances are much better for eventually being successful in the House, too.

    Please don't forget to emphasis that all this is not a safety issue. Bill Wiemuth has put together a great paper about the Delta Queen's safety: Delta Queen Safety Delta Queen 2008 Season Blog - Refer to this, if you like.
    Last edited by Franz Neumeier; 09-18-2008, 11:14 PM.

    #2
    Senator Obama is onboard, so to speak, that's great! My guess is that McCain will not become a cosponsor of Senate bill S-3498, but we can hope that he comes along too. Mc Cain has never been a great friend of the American Merchant Marine.

    Comment


      #3
      I just found that Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) is also an original cosponsor. He signed on yesterday.

      That makes eight co-sponsors and I'm sure many will follow, hopefully Mc Cain being one of them. There is no official statement from his office about the Delta Queen so far.

      Comment


        #4
        Got this reply from one of my US Senators. It looks canned, but whoever wrote it obviously read my email.

        "Dear Mr. Penta:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding the Delta Queen's exemption from the Safety at Sea Act (P.L. 89–777). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

        Although no measures that would extend the Delta Queen's exemption from the Safety at Sea Act have been introduced in the Senate, you may be certain I will keep your views in mind should legislation regarding this matter be considered.

        I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for contacting me.

        Sincerely,

        JOHN CORNYN
        United States Senator"

        Comment


          #5
          I immediately replied to Sen Cornyn thusly:

          "Thank you for your reply. And for your consideration, please be advised that Senator George voinovich has introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate in order to save the Delta Queen. The bill number is "S. 3498", co-sponsors so far are Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), and Richard Lugur (R-Indiana).

          As you can see, Senator, this has become a rising tide of bi-partisan support. Won't you please jump "on board" as a co-sponsor and help the Delta Queen through this?

          Thanks


          Paul Penta"

          Comment


            #6
            Paul, I received the same e-mail. It gives me hope that someone is actually reading the e-mails.
            Sally

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Sally,

              I sent a similar email to Sen Hutchinson (the other Tx senator) and I also went out on a limb and sent this one to John McCain.
              "Sen McCain,

              Senator George voinovich has introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate in order to save the Delta Queen. The bill number is "S. 3498", co-sponsors so far are Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), and Richard Lugur (R-Indiana).

              Senator, the Delta Queen is a living, breathing example of the kind of "family values" that you have so vigorously championed during your career. As you can see, this has become a rising tide of bi-partisanship. Won't you please jump on board and co-sponsor this bill?

              Thank you
              Paul Penta"

              Comment


                #8
                Here is the official text of the bill at thomas.gov:

                Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have written to my Senators. In my ignorance of exactly how things work, I wonder this: will this bill automatically be introduced before Congress goes on break in a few days, or does someone have to bring it up on the floor? I am very concerned about the current economic situation (as I'm sure everyone is), and if someone has to bring up Saving the DELTA QUEEN during the current situation, i am afraid our little old steamboat bill may get pushed out. Anybody know just how this works?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Bob, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the Senate. We'll see whether the committee will forward it to the Senate's floor for a vote ...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Daniel Inouye is the chair of that committee. Like Oberstar he is no friend of the DELTA QUEEN. So, once again, it is imperative that enough pro-DQ senators will band together to vote this legislation out of committee and onto the floor of the full Senate. Then there will still have to be a companion bill restarted in the House or it attached to a bill that has to go to the Joint Conference Committee, where differences between House and Senate Bills are ironed out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        does anyone know if Hillary Clinton has voiced support for this bill yet? I faxed her about a week ago, but I haven't heard any word about the situation.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Mattthew, I've faxed both Senators Clinton and Schumer with no reply from either. I fear with the financial crisis facing the nation that Her Majesty will be left in committee somewhere.
                          Keep the faith.
                          Ginnie Rhynders
                          Last edited by Ginnie Rhynders; 09-25-2008, 04:38 PM. Reason: dumb mistake

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sen. Grassley of Iowa has signed on with S.3498 as well. Here is a press release from his Senate website:

                            Grassley Works to Save the Delta Queen

                            WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today announced that he will co-sponsor a bill to keep the Delta Queen steamboat carrying overnight passengers for years to come.

                            “Congress should continue to renew this exemption for the historic Delta Queen,” Grassley said. “The Delta Queen has undergone Coast Guard inspections each quarter to ensure her safety and should not be forced out of commission because of a technicality in legislation.”

                            The Delta Queen is the last traditional steamboat that carries overnight passengers on America’s inland waterways. Since 1966, the Delta Queen has been caught in technical provisions of the Safety at Sea Act, which was intended for ocean-going ships, not riverboats.

                            Congress established an exemption in 1968 which recognizes the difference between boats that operate on rivers and ships that sail on oceans. The Delta Queen is the only remaining vessel currently operating under the exemption. The exemption has been renewed nine times by Congress and will expire on October 31, 2008 without an act of Congress. The bill Grassley is co-sponsoring will renew the extension until October 31, 2018.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Jonathan has shared the good news that Iowa senator Chuck Grassley has finally come on board with his support for the DQ. Last spring, when we first contacted him, he advised us that he would be checking with the higher-up USCG officials in Washington before making any decision about supporting the exemption. Well, that would have been the kiss-of-death! Needless to say, we got a quick reply back to him cautioning that their viewpoint might be "slightly skewed" against the QUEEN, and inviting him to view Jonathan's DVD, which we enclosed with the letter, suggesting that it gave a more factual and unbiased statement of the case. Apparently reason prevailed, and he has joined our effort. The really amazing news is that Republican Grassley's Senate colleague, Democratic SenatorTom Harkin, has also joined him in co-sponsoring Sen. Voinovich's bill. How refreshing in the negative, dog-eat-dog political climate that permeates our national politics in this election year, to find two of our Senators from both major parties joining together to preserve this priceless piece of our river heritage. Would that their example set the tone, not only for the Save the DQ effort, but for the entire political climate in this country. Those same sentiments were expressed by me in a letter to the editor of the Telegraph Herald, which should appear in tomorrow's paper. We need to keep getting the word out there any and every way we can. That clock is still ticking. Time is getting shorter and shorter . . . Don't remain silent. Spread the word, and help Save the DELTA QUEEN!

                              Comment

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