News Release: From: Congressman Ed Whitfields Office Whitfield Fights to Keep Delta Queen Moving Full Steam Ahead WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield continued his efforts today to keep a true gemstone of the River District – the Delta Queen – cruising down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers for the next ten years. Whitfield voted to send H.R.2830, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007, back to Committee in order to force an exemption for the Delta Queen to remain in service past its planned November shut-down date. Unfortunately, the motion to send it back to Committee to include an exemption for the Delta Queen did not pass, but Whitfield has vowed to continue his fight to keep the vessel in use. “The Delta Queen has a rich history in Kentucky cities along the Ohio River - a history I plan to fight for,” Whitfield said. “While I am disappointed that Congress did not pass today’s provision, rest assured I will continue my efforts to keep the Delta Queen moving full steam ahead.” The provision Whitfield supported would have extended the Delta Queen’s inland water exemption from fire retardant regulation for ten years. Under current law, the exemption is scheduled to expire at the end of 2008. The steamboat has a wooden superstructure and, therefore, requires an act of Congress to operate exempt from fire-safety regulations. Congress has granted this exemption for the boat nine times since 1968. Built in 1926, the Delta Queen is the last steam paddle-wheeler to operate on U.S. rivers. Nearly two decades ago the government deemed the vessel a National Historic Landmark, making it known that the boat held an important place in the heritage of the United States. The Delta Queen has hosted Presidents and princesses, served the nation during World War II and remains the only steamboat to travel the Panama Canal. Today, the Delta Queen is a major tourist attraction which generates critical revenue for many cities along the Ohio and Mississippi River. “Should we in Congress fail to act soon, families from across the country will no longer be able to take advantage of the renowned hospitality and history the steamboat has to offer,” Whitfield said. “Even worse, small business owners who rely on the tourism brought into their communities by the Delta Queen will be dealt a heavy blow.” Whitfield has sponsored legislation which would extend the exemption the Delta Queen currently operates under. The Congressman is calling on leadership in Congress to take up this legislation immediately to keep a treasured piece of American history alive.