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Senators push for boat-dealer exemption in reform bill

A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators last week sent a letter to Senate Banking chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., urging Congress to exclude boat and RV dealers from the provisions of a proposed consumer financial regulatory entity that would be created in legislation aimed at Wall Street and the banking industry.

In the letter, the senators said that "the same rationale for excluding auto dealers from the new consumer agency applies to boat and RV dealers. Boat and RV dealers do not originate loans, they assist qualified consumers in securing financing. The banks originating the motor vehicle loans will be regulated by the new agency. Moreover, boat and RV dealers tend to be small businesses. New paperwork and reporting requirements will hinder their ability to grow and create jobs."

"It is extremely helpful to have the support of a group of powerful senators, but it's also extremely important that marine dealers remain engaged in the process and make their case to their representatives in Congress," Mat Dunn, NMMA's legislative director, told Soundings Trade Only this morning.

Congressional members are debating separate House and Senate bills in a conference committee, which is expected to last about two weeks. A reconciled bill is expected to reach President Obama's desk for his signature before July 4.

Click here to read the full release.

Click here to view the letter.

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