I know I’ve previously talked about the success we had as an industry in getting Congress to pass the “Clean Boating Act of 2008.” I called it a great achievement, and it was surely that!
But recently some fact and figures were assembled by NMMA’s Washington staff — namely the trio of Scott Gudes, Dylan Jones and Christine Pomorski – that I just can’t ignore. The figures document what a remarkable accomplishment passing this Act really was.
The trio put together some statistics on how much business Congress has accomplished in the past two years to highlight the success in getting the Clean Boating Act passed. Check this out:
There have been a whopping 12,944 bills introduced so far into this Congress. How many have been passed and signed into law? Answer: just 316 or 2%. Moreover, many of them were simple Post Office naming bills and similar low priority actions. In fact, of the 316 passed by the current Congress, only 183 were bills of substance. One of those was our Clean Boating Act.
Looking at it from another angle, there were 240 bills introduced in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Our bill had to go through this committee. Only a meager 6 significant bills have passed out of the EPW Committee and ours was one of them!
Industry leaders including NMMA’s President Thom Dammrich and MRAA’s President Phil Keeter noted many times that the odds were extremely long against getting the Clean Boating Act passed in time to exempt the nation’s boaters from having to obtain newly mandated EPA Discharge Permits. Moreover, to get it done as a stand alone bill in a highly partisan Congress that hasn’t passed many bills at all is simply an incredible feat.
To beat the odds against getting the bill passed, it took an all out effort by the manufacturers, dealers and suppliers to the industry, working in concert with the nation’s boat owners. You gotta stand back and enjoy this even more when you see the numbers.