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Senators visit boatbuilders in New Jersey and Texas

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), (left), meets with Jeff Stone, senior vice president of Skeeter Products Inc., during a visit to the Skeeter Boats facility in Kilgore, Texas.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), (left), meets with Jeff Stone, senior vice president of Skeeter Products Inc., during a visit to the Skeeter Boats facility in Kilgore, Texas.

Two U.S. senators visited boat manufacturers in New Jersey and Texas last week.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association helped facilitate a visit from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to Viking Yachts on July 31 in New Gretna, N.J., where he toured the facility and met some of the company’s 1,400 employees.

Menendez saw aspects of boat manufacturing, including finishing a fiberglass top and prepping boats for delivery.

After the tour Viking executives and NMMA members discussed recreational boating priorities, including tax reform and the Modern Fish Act, with Menendez.

The Modern Fish Act calls for updating federal fishing policies that weren’t designed to manage recreational fishing. Introduced in the House and Senate this summer, the bills incorporate many priorities of the recreational fishing community, including allowing alternative management for recreational fishing.

On Friday Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) visited Skeeter Boats in Kilgore, Texas, including the company’s new trailer manufacturing facility. Cruz met with some of the company’s 281 employees, including Jeff Stone, senior vice president of Skeeter Products Inc., with whom Cruz discussed the Modern Fish Act.

“It was an honor to welcome Sen. Cruz to Skeeter today,” Stone said in a statement. “The recreational fishing and boating industry provides tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, including those here at Skeeter in Kilgore. The Modern Fish Act aims to protect those jobs. We appreciate the senator’s willingness to meet with us and discuss the future of the marine industry.”   

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