Midterm results will impact boating’s legislative agenda

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The boating industry is still sorting out the potential impact of yesterday’s midterm elections as late results continue to filter in. Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of federal and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, told Trade Only Today that it would take a day or two before she might understand how the elections will impact the Congressional Boating Caucus.

Caucus leaders Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) all won their seats. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) is waiting for clarification of his election results. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), co-chair of the Boating Caucus, lost his seat. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) may ask for a recall in the senate race with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who seemed to have won the race.

“A lot of the races, especially in California, haven’t been called yet,” Vasilaros said. “We’ve lost some seats, but we’re definitely seeing a lot of caucus members retain their seats.”

Vasilaros said that Nelson, not an official member of the Boating Caucus, has been a key supporter over the years. “He has been leading the Democrats in passing the Modern Fish Act,” she said. “We’re hoping to have this legislation pass in the lame-duck Congress over the next few weeks.”

Other legislation that NMMA is hoping to pass before the next Congress in 2019 includes the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account and a Lands Package that will focus on such issues as streamlining permitting for water access. The NMMA will hold a webinar on Friday at 1 p.m. (EST) to discuss election results.

Vasilaros said Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives will have some impact on its legislative agenda next year, since committee chairs change.