Legislative Update - 2019

With a new Congress now in full swing, there is great divide with a Democratic majority in the House and a Republican President and majority in the Senate. As we all know from hearing the news, lots of contention regarding the election and Russian collusion still rules the airwaves along with a seemingly limitless supply of sniping by both parties. In other words, business as usual.

That having been said, what does any of that mean for the marine industry?

Our most pressing agenda item continues to be Deferred Importation and as we reported in recent issues, the matter is currently resting in the hands of the Office of Management and Budget. Paul Flannery and Staley Weidman visited Washington D.C in December to explain the response to a Request For Information (RFI) identifying barriers to commerce in the marine industry. Several sectors responded, from dredging to inland towing to defenders of the Jones Act. Comment from the Bureau Chief at OMB was that the recreational marine industry response, as prepared by Jennifer Diaz at Diaz Trade Law, was the most well thought out and professional response received from any sector queried. Unfortunately, the wheels of progress were slowed by the government shutdown that ended in mid-February as the OMB was furloughed for the entire shut down. Having recently returned to work, the hope is that movement will commence quickly as this identification of barriers was mandated by President Trump with an eye toward stimulating the economy through the marine industry.

We continue to monitor progress through Becker Law in Washington and Staley has returned to DC for some advocacy work at this writing. Any forward movement will be reported as it happens and we currently hold great hope that administrative action through Executive Order will be the path success for this much needed legislation.