[NFBMO] FW: [NFB-Legislative-Directors] Important Update Regarding Automated Vehicles Amendment

Dennis Miller millerdennis893 at gmail.com
Wed May 26 17:15:50 UTC 2021



From: NFB-Legislative-Directors [mailto:nfb-legislative-directors-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Pare, John via NFB-Legislative-Directors
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 9:07 AM
To: NFB Legislative Directors List
Cc: Pare, John
Subject: [NFB-Legislative-Directors] Important Update Regarding Automated Vehicles Amendment


Dear Legislative Directors:


It is possible that Senator Thune will bring his amendment to the floor tomorrow, Thursday, May 27, so getting your emails or phone calls in today would be most helpful. 


Note that the bill has been renamed the United Sates Innovation and Competition Act. 


Yesterday, I urged everyone to contact Senators Schumer and Peters. That is still critical. If you have not had a chance to contact your own Senators, that would also be helpful.


The contact in Senator Schumer’s office is Meghan Taira, meghan_taira at schumer.senate.gov.  


The contact in Senator Peters’s office is Catherine Barrett, catherine_barrett at peters.senate.gov. 


I have included the legislative alert from last week below so you have everything in one place.


From: NFBNet-Members-List <nfbnet-members-list-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Pare, John via NFBNet-Members-List
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2021 3:25 PM
To: nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - May 17, 2021


Dear Federation Family:


The National Federation of the Blind has been working with Senator John Thune on an amendment to the United Sates Innovation and Competition Act. This amendment relates to fully automated vehicles and contains two provisions that would benefit blind people.


The first provision would create an exemption classification for manufacturers who “provide transportation access for individuals with disabilities (as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102)), including non-visual access for individuals who are blind or visually impaired,” as long as the vehicle was equivalently safe to a non-exempt vehicle. The second would prohibit a state from issuing a “motor vehicle operator’s license for the operation or use of a highly automated vehicle in a manner that discriminates on the basis of disability.” 


Despite support from both automobile manufacturers and disability advocates, Senator Thune reluctantly withdrew his amendment on May 12 due to a lack of support from other senators on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee over safety and liability concerns. President Riccobono wrote a letter to Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker <https://nfb.org/programs-services/advocacy/policy-statements/letter-chair-cantwell-thune-amendment-endless-frontier-act>  regarding this topic expressing our support and endorsement of the Thune amendment on May 11. 


The United Sates Innovation and Competition Act has been moved to the Senate floor for debate this week and Senator Thune plans to bring his amendment forward for a full Senate vote.


Please contact your senators and ask them to support this important amendment. When you call or email your senators, you might say something like:


"Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a constituent of [SENATOR NAME]. I live in [CITY, STATE]. I would like to urge [SENATOR NAME] to support Senator Thune’s automated vehicles amendment to the United Sates Innovation and Competition Act.  The amendment contains two provisions that would benefit blind people. The first would create an exemption classification for manufacturers who provide transportation access for individuals with disabilities as long as the vehicle was equivalently safe to a non-exempt vehicle. The second would prohibit a state from issuing an operator’s license for the use of a highly automated vehicle in a manner that discriminates on the basis of disability. Together, these two amendments will ensure that blind Americans are able to reap the rewards of highly automated vehicles.




You can contact your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you email your senators, please copy Jeff Kaloc at jkaloc at nfb.org. Your calls and emails do make a difference.


Pasted below are the 87 Senate offices (listed alphabetically by state) that have a specific staff member dedicated to transportation. If your senator is not listed, please email Jesa Medders at jmedders at nfb.org and she will research another appropriate staff member to contact. 


Scott      Leathard              Sen.       Daniel   Sullivan AK          scott_leathard at sullivan.senate.gov

Anne     McInerney          Sen.       Lisa         Murkowski         AK          anne_mcinerney at murkowski.senate.gov

Mike      Albares Sen.       Thomas Hawley Tuberville            AL           michael_albares at tuberville.senate.gov

Brennan               Johnson               Sen.       Richard Shelby  AL           brennan_johnson at shelby.senate.gov

Joe         Brown   Sen.       John      Boozman             AR          joe_brown at boozman.senate.gov

Vu          Ritchie  Sen.       Thomas Cotton  AR          vu_ritchie at cotton.senate.gov

Joe         Russell  Sen.       Mark     Kelly      AZ           joe_russell at kelly.senate.gov

Daniel   Winkler Sen.       Kyrsten Sinema AZ           daniel_winkler at sinema.senate.gov

Zac         Commins             Sen.       Alejandro            Padilla   CA          zac_commins at padilla.senate.gov

Rishi       Sahgal   Sen.       Dianne  Feinstein             CA          rishi_sahgal at feinstein.senate.gov

Grishma               Pradhan               Sen.       Michael Bennet CO          grishma_pradhan at bennet.senate.gov

Edgar     Rivas      Sen.       John      Hickenlooper     CO          edgar_rivas at hickenlooper.senate.gov

Emma   Cimino  Sen.       Christopher        Murphy CT           emma_cimino at murphy.senate.gov

Thomas Story     Sen.       Richard Blumenthal         CT           thomas_story at blumenthal.senate.gov

David     Brown   Sen.       Christopher        Coons   DE           david_brown at coons.senate.gov

Collin     Lomagistro          Sen.       Richard Scott      FL            collin_lomagistro at rickscott.senate.gov

Mara     Stark-Alcala        Sen.       Raphael                Warnock              GA          mara_stark at warnock.senate.gov

Jed         D'Ercole                Sen.       Mazie    Hirono  HI            jed_dercole at hirono.senate.gov

Trey       Reffett Sen.       Brian      Schatz   HI            trey_reffett at schatz.senate.gov

Sherry   Kuntz    Sen.       Chuck    Grassley               IA            sherry_kuntz at grassley.senate.gov

Mary Kate           Munro  Sen.       Joni        Ernst      IA            marykate_munro at ernst.senate.gov

Charles Adams  Sen.       James   Risch      ID            charles_adams at risch.senate.gov

Kristen  Siegele Sen.       Michael Crapo    ID            kristen_siegele at crapo.senate.gov

Mark     Copeland             Sen.       Ladda    Duckworth          IL             mark_copeland at duckworth.senate.gov

Kevin     Lefeber Sen.       Richard Durbin  IL             kevin_lefeber at durbin.senate.gov

Dan        Cheever               Sen.       Todd      Young   IN           dan_cheever at young.senate.gov

Payne   Griffin   Sen.       Mike      Braun    IN           payne_griffin at braun.senate.gov

Tom       Bush      Sen.       Jerry      Moran  KS           tom_bush at moran.senate.gov

Katie      Moore  Sen.       Roger    Marshall               KS           katie_moore at marshall.senate.gov

John      Maniscalco          Sen.       Randal  Paul       KY           john_maniscalco at paul.senate.gov

Amy       Nabozny              Sen.       Addison               McConnell          KY           amy_nabozny at mcconnell.senate.gov

Bubba   Gesser  Sen.       John      Kennedy              LA           herman_gesser at kennedy.senate.gov

Owen    Morgan Sen.       William Cassidy LA           owen_morgan at cassidy.senate.gov

Bruno    Freitas  Sen.       Elizabeth              Warren MA         bruno_freitas at warren.senate.gov

Eric         Kashdan               Sen.       Edward Markey MA         eric_kashdan at markey.senate.gov

Shannon              Frede    Sen.       Benjamin             Cardin   MD         shannon_frede at cardin.senate.gov

Deborah              Haynie  Sen.       Christopher        Van Hollen          MD         deborah_haynie at vanhollen.senate.gov

Cameron             O'Brien Sen.       Susan    Collins   ME         cameron_o'brien at collins.senate.gov

Nathan Paxton  Sen.       Angus   King       ME         nathan_paxton at king.senate.gov

Catherine            Barrett  Sen.       Gary      Peters   MI          catherine_barrett at peters.senate.gov

Lot          Kwarteng            Sen.       Deborah              Stabenow           MI          lot_kwarteng at stabenow.senate.gov

Caroline               Hunsicker            Sen.       Tina        Smith    MN        caroline_hunsicker at smith.senate.gov

April       Jones    Sen.       Amy       Klobuchar            MN        april_jones at klobuchar.senate.gov

Andy     Lock       Sen.       Roy        Blunt     MO        andrew_lock at blunt.senate.gov

Josh       MacGregor         Sen.       Joshua  Hawley MO        joshua_macgregor at hawley.senate.gov

Chloe    Cantor  Sen.       Roger    Wicker  MS         chloe_cantor at wicker.senate.gov

Shane   Waller   Sen.       Cindy     Hyde-Smith        MS         shane_waller at hydesmith.senate.gov

Corey    Sellers   Sen.       Steven  Daines  MT         corey_sellers at daines.senate.gov

Sam       Lupas    Sen.       Thomas Tillis        NC          sam_lupas at tillis.senate.gov

John      McDonald           Sen.       Richard Burr       NC          john_mcdonald at burr.senate.gov

Micah    Chambers           Sen.       Kevin     Cramer ND          micah_chambers at cramer.senate.gov

Tyler      Hardy    Sen.       John      Hoeven ND          tyler_hardy at hoeven.senate.gov

Katherine            Duveneck            Sen.       Benjamin             Sasse     NE          katherine_duveneck at sasse.senate.gov

Paul       Wasik    Sen.       Debra    Fischer  NE          paul_wasik at fischer.senate.gov

Nick       Malatesta            Sen.       Margaret             Hassan  NH          nicholas_malatesta at hassan.senate.gov

Josh       Sanders Sen.       Robert  Menendez          NJ           josh_sanders at menendez.senate.gov

Matt      Thomson             Sen.       Cory       Booker NJ           matt_thomson at booker.senate.gov

Jared     Henderson         Sen.       Ben Ray                Lujan     NM        jared_henderson at lujan.senate.gov

Dominic                Saavedra             Sen.       Martin  Heinrich               NM        dominic_saavedra at heinrich.senate.gov

Alex       De Bianchi           Sen.       Jacky     Rosen   NV          alexandrine_debianchi at rosen.senate.gov

Trevor   Dean     Sen.       Catherine            Cortez Masto     NV          trevor_dean at cortezmasto.senate.gov

Jessica  Hernandez          Sen.       Kirsten  Gillibrand             NY          jessica_hernandez at gillibrand.senate.gov

Leah      Hill          Sen.       Sherrod Brown   OH          leah_hill at brown.senate.gov

Avery    Pierson Sen.       Robert  Portman              OH          avery_pierson at portman.senate.gov

Victor    Sarmiento           Sen.       James   Inhofe  OK          victor_sarmiento at inhofe.senate.gov

Amy       Vanderveer        Sen.       James   Lankford              OK          amy_vanderveer at lankford.senate.gov

Richard Parker   Sen.       Jeffrey  Merkley               OR          richard_parker at merkley.senate.gov

Sara-Paige           Silvestro               Sen.       Robert  Casey    PA          sara-paige_silvestro at casey.senate.gov

Steve    Keenan Sen.       John      Reed     RI            steve_keenan at reed.senate.gov

Meghan               Dorn      Sen.       Lindsey Graham SC           meghan_dorn at lgraham.senate.gov

Chance Costello                Sen.       John      Thune   SD           chance_costello at thune.senate.gov

Andrew Hogin    Sen.       William Hagerty TN          andrew_hogin at hagerty.senate.gov

Jonathan             Iwaskiw Sen.       Rafael   Cruz       TX           jonathan_iwaskiw at cruz.senate.gov

Jacob     Smith    Sen.       John      Cornyn TX           jacob_smith at cornyn.senate.gov

Alex       Vargo    Sen.       Willard  Romney               UT          alex_vargo at romney.senate.gov

Joel        Wellum Sen.       Michael Lee         UT          joel_wellum at lee.senate.gov

Stephanie           Doherty               Sen.       Mark     Warner VA          stephanie_doherty at warner.senate.gov

Evan      McWalters          Sen.       Timothy               Kaine     VA          evan_mcwalters at kaine.senate.gov

Jeff        Van Oot                Sen.       Patrick  Leahy    VT           jeff_van_oot at leahy.senate.gov

Zach       Mallove                Sen.       Patricia Murray WA         zach_mallove at murray.senate.gov

David     Marten Sen.       Maria    Cantwell              WA         david_marten at cantwell.senate.gov

Annie    Chestnut             Sen.       Ronald  Johnson               WI          annie_chestnut at ronjohnson.senate.gov

Meghan               Ladwig  Sen.       Tammy Baldwin WI          meghan_ladwig at baldwin.senate.gov

Brendan               Dailey    Sen.       Shelley Capito   WV         brendan_dailey at capito.senate.gov

Seth       Gainer  Sen.       Joseph  Manchin              WV         seth_gainer at manchin.senate.gov

Holt        Edwards               Sen.       Cynthia Lummis WY         holt_edwards at lummis.senate.gov

Charles Ziegler  Sen.       John      Barrasso               WY         charles_ziegler at barrasso.senate.gov


Warm regards,



John G. Paré Jr. 

Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy 

National Federation of the Blind



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