Two weeks ago, 275 attendees gathered on Capitol Hill in support of the American Boating Congress.
Attendance was up 22 percent from last year — the largest growth in recent history.
Recreational boating advocates conducted more than 180 meetings. Thirty to 40 of those meetings took place directly with the senator or House member.
The Congressional Boating Caucus has five new members since the ABC concluded: Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich.; Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas; Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.; Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.; and Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va.
Not only has the event grown in size and helped bring attention to the Congressional Boating Caucus, but there also has been movement surrounding some of the industry's policy priorities, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Legislative success as a direct result of ABC includes:
- Draft WRDA bill released by the House Transportation Committee
- New ethanol bill (HR 5180) introduced to protect against E15
- House version of the REC Act (H.R 4665) received three new co-sponsors — Rep. Jackie Walorski, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Rep. Paul Costa
- Deferred Importation bill (HR 4065) got two new co-sponsors — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Gus Bilirakis
- Bipartisan letter to the EPA on consumer education for E15 misfueling was drafted and signed by more than 29 members and growing.
The BoatPAC reception during ABC raised $42,000; 32 members of Congress attended.