OIA in D.C. Notes From The Hill: November 2021
Landmark bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act signed into law, BEA releases new outdoor recreation economy data, and more.
November was a busy time in Washington, D.C., as President Biden signed the landmark bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act into law, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new outdoor recreation economy data, and outdoor recreation and climate change remained big topics of conversation among lawmakers.
President Biden Signed Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation into Law
Following its passage by the House of Representatives, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on November 15. This bill includes key climate provisions, including funding for nature-based climate solutions and projects to mitigate climate change. OIA was a key player in ensuring these climate provisions were included in the final bill, and OIA executive director Lise Aangeenbrug attended the bill’s signing at the invitation of the White House.
Build Back Better Passed the House of Representatives
Soon after the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the House of Representatives passed the budget reconciliation bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act. This sweeping proposal contains many of the outdoor industry’s key climate policy priorities, including the creation and support of a new Civilian Climate Corps, robust funding for the Department of the Interior, and investments in clean energy and workforce transition programs. Now under consideration by the Senate, OIA and our member companies continue to advocate for these policy priorities.
Additionally, OIA, along with seven other outdoor trade associations, wrote to congressional leadership in support of robust funding for the Civilian Climate Corps proposal, specifically outlining the benefits of the CCC to the American economy, the outdoor industry, and the future of our planet.
The Build Back Better Act offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for President Biden and Congress to pass meaningful climate policy. As the bill reaches the final steps of the legislative process here in Washington, we will continue to ensure our industry’s voice is heard in these negotiations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases New Outdoor Industry Economic Data
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their annual data on the outdoor recreation industry’s economic impact last year. These numbers, which reflect data from 2020, illustrated the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the outdoor industry and the importance of legislation that supports outdoor businesses, expands access to the outdoors, and works to combat climate change. Read OIA executive director Lise Aangeenbrug’s statement on the new numbers here.
Supporting Trade and Outdoor Recreation
This month, OIA also put our support behind key recreation and trade legislation that would support the growth and continued success of the outdoor industry.
On November 30, OIA and eight member organizations sent a letter of support to Representatives John Garamendi and Dusty Johnson for their leadership on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which would help address the shipping crisis faced by our member companies.
To further support transparency in trade with China, OIA joined more than 175 trade associations in sending a letter to leadership of the House Ways & Means Committee to urge lawmakers to refocus the trade debate with China to ease the rising shipping and supply chain crisis.
OIA also sent a letter to Senators Joe Manchin and John Barrasso in support of eight outdoor recreation bills being heard in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. This package of legislation, which includes key outdoor industry priorities like Outdoors for All, the SOAR Act, and the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act, would increase access to outdoor recreation, and in turn, support our $689 billion industry. OIA member organization Vista also leveraged their business voice by testifying in support of these bills at the hearing, further amplifying the outdoor industry’s position to lawmakers.