The longest federal government shutdown in history ended last week when the Trump administration and Congress agreed to a three-week stopgap bill that funds the government through Feb. 15, according to a Soundings Trade Only report.
The shutdown “hit close to home for the boating community,” said the National Marine Manufacturers Association in its Currents e-newsletter. The group is encouraging federal leaders to reach a long-term agreement that keeps the government open beyond the middle of February.
The shutdown caused major problems for the outdoor recreation industry, according to the NMMA, which accounts for 2.2 %of the nation’s economy, $734 billion in gross output, $887 billion in consumer spending and supports 4.6 million American jobs.
Cancelled visits to federal recreation sites resulted in both public and private sector losses, from which it will take a time to recover. In addition, the shutdown exacerbated the $11 billion public lands and waters maintenance backlog.
Various permitting processes through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also were affected by the furlough. As a result, the government was unable to approve waiver requests sought by manufacturers. However, there was a silver lining to the staff shortage: The EPA indicated that year-round sale of E15 may not receive formal approval.
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