NMMA yesterday opened the American Boating Congress at the InterContinental hotel in Washington, D.C., the first in-person edition of the event since 2019.
ABC began with a presentation by NMMA directors of federal government relations Clay Crabtree and Callie Hoyt, who outlined the group’s advocacy efforts for 2022 and acquainted attendees with new protocols for the Capitol Hill visits.
Among the legislative initiatives NMMA will push are the Bipartisan Innovation Act, the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises Act, the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act, and the Water Resources Development Act.
The Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act would require better consumer protections against misfueling boats with E15 gasoline, which is not approved for use in marine engines. NMMA is pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to require improved fuel-pump labeling to prevent consumers from loading their boats with E15 fuel. The Biden Administration recently announced that it will allow the sale of E15 during the summer months as a way to keep fuel prices down amid inflation and the war in Ukraine.
Geared toward bolstering funds for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 would reauthorize funding for boating and outdoors facilities that the corps manages, increase funding for dredging and port improvements, provide money for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp, and more.
The Bipartisan Innovation Act aims to help industry participants by tackling supply-chain disruptions, providing solutions for reducing inflation, supplying funding for bringing microchip manufacturing into the United States, and allowing businesses to fully deduct research-and-development costs in the year they are incurred, among a handful of other initiatives.
Lastly, the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises Act aims to provide funds for elevating buildings, docks and bulkheads; constructing flood barriers and levees; dry and wet waterproofing; yard regrading; sewer backup protection; and more. The program would administer low-interest, fixed-rate loans of up to $500,000 to qualifying small businesses.
The American Boating Congress continues today with a variety of speakers, Capitol Hill visits, and a networking reception to finish the day.