Beyer’s Outdoor REC Act Passes the House
Rep. Don Beyer’s (D-VA) Outdoor Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act passed the House of Representatives last night. The REC Act would direct the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to assess the outdoor industry’s contribution to job creation and consumer spending.
“With this vote, we can finally recognize the outdoor recreation industry’s enormous contribution to the U.S. economy,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “This data is critical to crafting sound environmental and recreational policies that support the $646 billion outdoor economy.”
Rep. Beyer introduced the bipartisan Outdoor REC Act with Dave Reichert (R-WA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) this spring.
“With countless hiking and biking trails, rivers, lakes, and parks, Washington State is home to some of the country’s most active outdoorsmen and women,” said Rep. Dave Reichert. “But spending time outside is more than a recreational activity in my home state – the outdoors industry is a staple of our economy. I am proud today my colleagues in the House joined me in recognizing the important role the outdoor recreation industry plays in contributing to job creation and the overall health of our economy.”
“Outdoor recreation activities improve our health and happiness as well as the bottom line of communities and states,” Rep. Peter Welch said. “Having reliable data that quantifies these benefits is essential so we can better support this vital sector of our economy.”
“In Eastern Washington, we refer to our home as, ‘Near Nature, Near Perfect.’ Our public lands offer Washingtonians the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, including the Colville and Umatilla National Forests,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “This legislation provides clarity to the American people about the economic impact our outdoor industries provide to the American economy. ”
Once the companion legislation introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) passes the Senate, as is expected, the legislation will move to the President’s desk to be signed into law."The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the thousands of manufacturers, retailers and service providers in the outdoor recreation industry, know about the hundreds of millions of dollars our industry contributes to the U.S. economy and the millions of jobs our businesses support," said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. "The passage of Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act shows that members of the House understand that as well. We are grateful for the leadership of Congressman Beyer, Congressman Reichert, Congressman Welch, and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and join them in celebrating today's vote. This is a big step forward in making sure that the federal government quantifies the economic importance of our industry and uses that data to inform the decisions that affect our businesses and the 142 million Americans who recreate outside each year.