[Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - May 17, 2021

Pare, John JPare at nfb.org
Mon May 17 19:24:36 UTC 2021

Dear Federation Family:

The National Federation of the Blind has been working with Senator John Thune on an amendment to the Endless Frontier 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 Endless Frontier 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 Endless Frontier 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<mailto: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<mailto: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<mailto:scott_leathard at sullivan.senate.gov>
Anne     McInerney          Sen.       Lisa         Murkowski         AK          anne_mcinerney at murkowski.senate.gov<mailto:anne_mcinerney at murkowski.senate.gov>
Mike      Albares Sen.       Thomas Hawley Tuberville            AL           michael_albares at tuberville.senate.gov<mailto:michael_albares at tuberville.senate.gov>
Brennan               Johnson               Sen.       Richard Shelby  AL           brennan_johnson at shelby.senate.gov<mailto:brennan_johnson at shelby.senate.gov>
Joe         Brown   Sen.       John      Boozman             AR          joe_brown at boozman.senate.gov<mailto:joe_brown at boozman.senate.gov>
Vu          Ritchie  Sen.       Thomas Cotton  AR          vu_ritchie at cotton.senate.gov<mailto:vu_ritchie at cotton.senate.gov>
Joe         Russell  Sen.       Mark     Kelly      AZ           joe_russell at kelly.senate.gov<mailto:joe_russell at kelly.senate.gov>
Daniel   Winkler Sen.       Kyrsten Sinema AZ           daniel_winkler at sinema.senate.gov<mailto:daniel_winkler at sinema.senate.gov>
Zac         Commins             Sen.       Alejandro            Padilla   CA          zac_commins at padilla.senate.gov<mailto:zac_commins at padilla.senate.gov>
Rishi       Sahgal   Sen.       Dianne  Feinstein             CA          rishi_sahgal at feinstein.senate.gov<mailto:rishi_sahgal at feinstein.senate.gov>
Grishma               Pradhan               Sen.       Michael Bennet CO          grishma_pradhan at bennet.senate.gov<mailto:grishma_pradhan at bennet.senate.gov>
Edgar     Rivas      Sen.       John      Hickenlooper     CO          edgar_rivas at hickenlooper.senate.gov<mailto:edgar_rivas at hickenlooper.senate.gov>
Emma   Cimino  Sen.       Christopher        Murphy CT           emma_cimino at murphy.senate.gov<mailto:emma_cimino at murphy.senate.gov>
Thomas Story     Sen.       Richard Blumenthal         CT           thomas_story at blumenthal.senate.gov<mailto:thomas_story at blumenthal.senate.gov>
David     Brown   Sen.       Christopher        Coons   DE           david_brown at coons.senate.gov<mailto:david_brown at coons.senate.gov>
Collin     Lomagistro          Sen.       Richard Scott      FL            collin_lomagistro at rickscott.senate.gov<mailto:collin_lomagistro at rickscott.senate.gov>
Mara     Stark-Alcala        Sen.       Raphael                Warnock              GA          mara_stark at warnock.senate.gov<mailto:mara_stark at warnock.senate.gov>
Jed         D'Ercole                Sen.       Mazie    Hirono  HI            jed_dercole at hirono.senate.gov<mailto:jed_dercole at hirono.senate.gov>
Trey       Reffett Sen.       Brian      Schatz   HI            trey_reffett at schatz.senate.gov<mailto:trey_reffett at schatz.senate.gov>
Sherry   Kuntz    Sen.       Chuck    Grassley               IA            sherry_kuntz at grassley.senate.gov<mailto:sherry_kuntz at grassley.senate.gov>
Mary Kate           Munro  Sen.       Joni        Ernst      IA            marykate_munro at ernst.senate.gov<mailto:marykate_munro at ernst.senate.gov>
Charles Adams  Sen.       James   Risch      ID            charles_adams at risch.senate.gov<mailto:charles_adams at risch.senate.gov>
Kristen  Siegele Sen.       Michael Crapo    ID            kristen_siegele at crapo.senate.gov<mailto:kristen_siegele at crapo.senate.gov>
Mark     Copeland             Sen.       Ladda    Duckworth          IL             mark_copeland at duckworth.senate.gov<mailto:mark_copeland at duckworth.senate.gov>
Kevin     Lefeber Sen.       Richard Durbin  IL             kevin_lefeber at durbin.senate.gov<mailto:kevin_lefeber at durbin.senate.gov>
Dan        Cheever               Sen.       Todd      Young   IN           dan_cheever at young.senate.gov<mailto:dan_cheever at young.senate.gov>
Payne   Griffin   Sen.       Mike      Braun    IN           payne_griffin at braun.senate.gov<mailto:payne_griffin at braun.senate.gov>
Tom       Bush      Sen.       Jerry      Moran  KS           tom_bush at moran.senate.gov<mailto:tom_bush at moran.senate.gov>
Katie      Moore  Sen.       Roger    Marshall               KS           katie_moore at marshall.senate.gov<mailto:katie_moore at marshall.senate.gov>
John      Maniscalco          Sen.       Randal  Paul       KY           john_maniscalco at paul.senate.gov<mailto:john_maniscalco at paul.senate.gov>
Amy       Nabozny              Sen.       Addison               McConnell          KY           amy_nabozny at mcconnell.senate.gov<mailto:amy_nabozny at mcconnell.senate.gov>
Bubba   Gesser  Sen.       John      Kennedy              LA           herman_gesser at kennedy.senate.gov<mailto:herman_gesser at kennedy.senate.gov>
Owen    Morgan Sen.       William Cassidy LA           owen_morgan at cassidy.senate.gov<mailto:owen_morgan at cassidy.senate.gov>
Bruno    Freitas  Sen.       Elizabeth              Warren MA         bruno_freitas at warren.senate.gov<mailto:bruno_freitas at warren.senate.gov>
Eric         Kashdan               Sen.       Edward Markey MA         eric_kashdan at markey.senate.gov<mailto:eric_kashdan at markey.senate.gov>
Shannon              Frede    Sen.       Benjamin             Cardin   MD         shannon_frede at cardin.senate.gov<mailto:shannon_frede at cardin.senate.gov>
Deborah              Haynie  Sen.       Christopher        Van Hollen          MD         deborah_haynie at vanhollen.senate.gov<mailto: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<mailto:nathan_paxton at king.senate.gov>
Catherine            Barrett  Sen.       Gary      Peters   MI          catherine_barrett at peters.senate.gov<mailto:catherine_barrett at peters.senate.gov>
Lot          Kwarteng            Sen.       Deborah              Stabenow           MI          lot_kwarteng at stabenow.senate.gov<mailto:lot_kwarteng at stabenow.senate.gov>
Caroline               Hunsicker            Sen.       Tina        Smith    MN        caroline_hunsicker at smith.senate.gov<mailto:caroline_hunsicker at smith.senate.gov>
April       Jones    Sen.       Amy       Klobuchar            MN        april_jones at klobuchar.senate.gov<mailto:april_jones at klobuchar.senate.gov>
Andy     Lock       Sen.       Roy        Blunt     MO        andrew_lock at blunt.senate.gov<mailto:andrew_lock at blunt.senate.gov>
Josh       MacGregor         Sen.       Joshua  Hawley MO        joshua_macgregor at hawley.senate.gov<mailto:joshua_macgregor at hawley.senate.gov>
Chloe    Cantor  Sen.       Roger    Wicker  MS         chloe_cantor at wicker.senate.gov<mailto:chloe_cantor at wicker.senate.gov>
Shane   Waller   Sen.       Cindy     Hyde-Smith        MS         shane_waller at hydesmith.senate.gov<mailto:shane_waller at hydesmith.senate.gov>
Corey    Sellers   Sen.       Steven  Daines  MT         corey_sellers at daines.senate.gov<mailto:corey_sellers at daines.senate.gov>
Sam       Lupas    Sen.       Thomas Tillis        NC          sam_lupas at tillis.senate.gov<mailto:sam_lupas at tillis.senate.gov>
John      McDonald           Sen.       Richard Burr       NC          john_mcdonald at burr.senate.gov<mailto:john_mcdonald at burr.senate.gov>
Micah    Chambers           Sen.       Kevin     Cramer ND          micah_chambers at cramer.senate.gov<mailto:micah_chambers at cramer.senate.gov>
Tyler      Hardy    Sen.       John      Hoeven ND          tyler_hardy at hoeven.senate.gov<mailto:tyler_hardy at hoeven.senate.gov>
Katherine            Duveneck            Sen.       Benjamin             Sasse     NE          katherine_duveneck at sasse.senate.gov<mailto:katherine_duveneck at sasse.senate.gov>
Paul       Wasik    Sen.       Debra    Fischer  NE          paul_wasik at fischer.senate.gov<mailto:paul_wasik at fischer.senate.gov>
Nick       Malatesta            Sen.       Margaret             Hassan  NH          nicholas_malatesta at hassan.senate.gov<mailto:nicholas_malatesta at hassan.senate.gov>
Josh       Sanders Sen.       Robert  Menendez          NJ           josh_sanders at menendez.senate.gov<mailto:josh_sanders at menendez.senate.gov>
Matt      Thomson             Sen.       Cory       Booker NJ           matt_thomson at booker.senate.gov<mailto:matt_thomson at booker.senate.gov>
Jared     Henderson         Sen.       Ben Ray                Lujan     NM        jared_henderson at lujan.senate.gov<mailto:jared_henderson at lujan.senate.gov>
Dominic                Saavedra             Sen.       Martin  Heinrich               NM        dominic_saavedra at heinrich.senate.gov<mailto:dominic_saavedra at heinrich.senate.gov>
Alex       De Bianchi           Sen.       Jacky     Rosen   NV          alexandrine_debianchi at rosen.senate.gov<mailto:alexandrine_debianchi at rosen.senate.gov>
Trevor   Dean     Sen.       Catherine            Cortez Masto     NV          trevor_dean at cortezmasto.senate.gov<mailto:trevor_dean at cortezmasto.senate.gov>
Jessica  Hernandez          Sen.       Kirsten  Gillibrand             NY          jessica_hernandez at gillibrand.senate.gov<mailto:jessica_hernandez at gillibrand.senate.gov>
Leah      Hill          Sen.       Sherrod Brown   OH          leah_hill at brown.senate.gov<mailto:leah_hill at brown.senate.gov>
Avery    Pierson Sen.       Robert  Portman              OH          avery_pierson at portman.senate.gov<mailto:avery_pierson at portman.senate.gov>
Victor    Sarmiento           Sen.       James   Inhofe  OK          victor_sarmiento at inhofe.senate.gov<mailto:victor_sarmiento at inhofe.senate.gov>
Amy       Vanderveer        Sen.       James   Lankford              OK          amy_vanderveer at lankford.senate.gov<mailto:amy_vanderveer at lankford.senate.gov>
Richard Parker   Sen.       Jeffrey  Merkley               OR          richard_parker at merkley.senate.gov<mailto:richard_parker at merkley.senate.gov>
Sara-Paige           Silvestro               Sen.       Robert  Casey    PA          sara-paige_silvestro at casey.senate.gov<mailto:sara-paige_silvestro at casey.senate.gov>
Steve    Keenan Sen.       John      Reed     RI            steve_keenan at reed.senate.gov<mailto:steve_keenan at reed.senate.gov>
Meghan               Dorn      Sen.       Lindsey Graham SC           meghan_dorn at lgraham.senate.gov<mailto:meghan_dorn at lgraham.senate.gov>
Chance Costello                Sen.       John      Thune   SD           chance_costello at thune.senate.gov<mailto:chance_costello at thune.senate.gov>
Andrew Hogin    Sen.       William Hagerty TN          andrew_hogin at hagerty.senate.gov<mailto:andrew_hogin at hagerty.senate.gov>
Jonathan             Iwaskiw Sen.       Rafael   Cruz       TX           jonathan_iwaskiw at cruz.senate.gov<mailto:jonathan_iwaskiw at cruz.senate.gov>
Jacob     Smith    Sen.       John      Cornyn TX           jacob_smith at cornyn.senate.gov<mailto:jacob_smith at cornyn.senate.gov>
Alex       Vargo    Sen.       Willard  Romney               UT          alex_vargo at romney.senate.gov<mailto:alex_vargo at romney.senate.gov>
Joel        Wellum Sen.       Michael Lee         UT          joel_wellum at lee.senate.gov<mailto:joel_wellum at lee.senate.gov>
Stephanie           Doherty               Sen.       Mark     Warner VA          stephanie_doherty at warner.senate.gov<mailto:stephanie_doherty at warner.senate.gov>
Evan      McWalters          Sen.       Timothy               Kaine     VA          evan_mcwalters at kaine.senate.gov<mailto:evan_mcwalters at kaine.senate.gov>
Jeff        Van Oot                Sen.       Patrick  Leahy    VT           jeff_van_oot at leahy.senate.gov<mailto:jeff_van_oot at leahy.senate.gov>
Zach       Mallove                Sen.       Patricia Murray WA         zach_mallove at murray.senate.gov<mailto:zach_mallove at murray.senate.gov>
David     Marten Sen.       Maria    Cantwell              WA         david_marten at cantwell.senate.gov<mailto:david_marten at cantwell.senate.gov>
Annie    Chestnut             Sen.       Ronald  Johnson               WI          annie_chestnut at ronjohnson.senate.gov<mailto:annie_chestnut at ronjohnson.senate.gov>
Meghan               Ladwig  Sen.       Tammy Baldwin WI          meghan_ladwig at baldwin.senate.gov<mailto:meghan_ladwig at baldwin.senate.gov>
Brendan               Dailey    Sen.       Shelley Capito   WV         brendan_dailey at capito.senate.gov<mailto:brendan_dailey at capito.senate.gov>
Seth       Gainer  Sen.       Joseph  Manchin              WV         seth_gainer at manchin.senate.gov<mailto:seth_gainer at manchin.senate.gov>
Holt        Edwards               Sen.       Cynthia Lummis WY         holt_edwards at lummis.senate.gov<mailto:holt_edwards at lummis.senate.gov>
Charles Ziegler  Sen.       John      Barrasso               WY         charles_ziegler at barrasso.senate.gov<mailto: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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