As I have posted before, I am trying to help save America's Last traditional Overnight Steamboat. We have two bills in congress, but little interest in them--However, today I received word that the Senate bill was voted out of committee to be placed before the Senate for voting!
We do have an uphill battle as The American Cruise Lines has hired a lobbyist to prevent the bills from passing, Blank Rome Government Relations. So far they have spent over $150,000 to stop the bill. ACL has their own, modern, boats cruising the inland waterways and doesn’t want the competition.
So, to get it to pass, we need everyone to contact their Senators right away to support the bill. After it passes, we’ll need to go after the members of the House of Representatives.
Here's the background, so you don't have to search for the past postings:
I am asking you to help save an American Icon, the Steamboat Delta Queen. What makes this unusual is that we are not asking for any money, but for a minute of your time to stand up and be counted that you believe the American Steamboat Heritage is important by writing or phoning your congressional representatives.
Here’s the issue in a nutshell: The Delta Queen steamboat has a wooden superstructure, so cannot operate without an exemption from the 1960s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) law which forbids wooden superstructures on an overnight passenger boat. Because of the Delta Queens impeccable safety record spanning over 80 years, her modern fire suppression systems, and her ability to land on the river shore within minutes of a need, Congress has granted an exemption many times until 2008, when their inaction ended the Delta Queen’s travels. The boat has languished since then, but a new company owns her, and wants to run her again so folks can experience the great Steamboat era once more. To do so, they have two bills in congress that need to be acted upon; in the House, HR 1248, and in the Senate S 1717.
Would you please contact your senator and ask them to support this non-partisan bill, which spends no money, just gives the Delta Queen permission to run again. We are hoping a “groundswell” of communications to Congress will get the bills voted upon. If you need your representative’s name, email, phone number or other contact information, go to this website: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
If you want to know more about the delta queen’s story, there is this u-tube video from 2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdD0LYHv2N4
And a video on the safety equipment on board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiB7aQoOPhg
Here is a sample text you may use, please feel free to personalize it however you wish:
I am writing you today to ask you to support S 1717 as it will help save a piece of American Heritage, the Legendary Steamboat Delta Queen, by giving her permission to operate on the American Inland Waterways. She has a spotless safety record going back over 80 years, and will provide jobs and tourism to the many small towns along those waterways; all this at no cost to Congress or to our tax dollars. Please be aware that American Cruise Lines, who operates cruise boats on the inland waterways, has mounted a campaign against this legislation thru Blank Rome Government Relations, so far spending $150,000, just to keep the Delta Queen from providing any competition to their boats. We are a grass-roots effort and don’t have that kind of money to counter them; Please, check the facts, the Delta Queen is a safe boat and is important to our American Heritage!
In these days of complex issues, this is a simple one; please don’t let it be overlooked in this busy election year. Thank you.
It would be great if we could get this boat running again, both for preserving history and for the income it provides all the small river towns where she stops. It's estimated that it provides a $36 Million dollar boost to the area's economy when running.
David, my Missouri senators are both co-sponsors, I believe.
David thank you for bringing this to our attention something worthwhile for our senators to do!I will get on it as fast as my slow writing allows!
EVERYONE else; now is your chance to do something where your voice might actually make a difference!
Senate is out for today, will meet Friday, I don't know if they will get to the vote then, or after the holiday recess, but time is SHORT!
Thank you for your help! This is entirely a grass-roots effort, and we're hard pressed to overcome the Big Bucks spending of American Cruise Lines to prevent the DQ from ever sailing again.
Help save America's Steamboat History, let the Delta Queen sail again!
This just in, if you're from the states noted, please contact your senators!
S. 1717 was approved as part of a package of several agenda items in one voice vote, the motion was made by Senator Nelson from Florida. Anyone living in Florida needs to send him a big thank you.
Four no votes were recorded, Booker from New Jersey, Schatz from Hawaii, Cantwell from Washington and Blumenthal from Connecticut. We need our supporters in those states to contact them and change their minds.
We also need the Kentucky folks to get McConnell to get the bill to the Senate floor for passage. Don't let him kill it just by not scheduling it.