Rep. Schweikert fights back against administrative tyranny

| March 17 2012

REP. SCHWEIKERT FIGHTS TO HALT EXCESSIVE SWIMMING POOL CHAIR LIFT MANDATE

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced a bill today, H.R. 4200, to halt an excessive regulation introduced by the Department of Justice that would require every public swimming pool and jacuzzi to provide an attachment for a permanent wheelchair lift. The DOJ regulation was set to go into effect yesterday, Thursday, March 15th. After pressure from the industry, myself, Senators Jim DeMint, Roy Blunt, and Lindsey Graham, the White House extended the compliance deadline for 60 days.This new requirement will affect every hotel, motel, lodging establishment, recreation center, YMCA, apartment complex, condominium complex, school, community pool, other public pools and spas, and any place that falls into the category of “public accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This new rule adds another costly layer of regulations on the housing and tourism industries and seriously changes the extent of their obligations,” said Rep. Schweikert.

“With the economy gearing up to make some positive growth, the worst thing we could do right now is add costly burdens on businesses across the country. Ultimately, it is the consumer that gets hurt as these costs will simply be passed on to us in the form of higher hotel costs, membership fees, and rent.

“While I believe every public facility should work in good faith to make sure pools are accessible to everyone, we must ensure that the government does not kill off more businesses by imposing unattainable mandates.

“My bill halts this requirement and stops the Attorney General from enforcing any penalty associated with it. Partnering with my colleague, Sen. Jim DeMint and other House conservatives, we will push back and hold the Department of Justice accountable.”

 

BACKGROUND:

In January, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division set forth new requirements for all facilities “of public accommodation” that go beyond those contained in a final rule issued in 2010 giving hotels and other residential communities no time to comply with this burdensome rule.

This new ruling requires a permanent pool lift be installed in every public pool, spa, or jacuzzi.

The number of businesses, recreation centers, and apartment complexes—and not just the large hotels and resorts—across the country that will have to comply is staggering. Not to mention, multiple pools will require multiple lifts, even if they are on the same property. Perhaps even more staggering is the cost. A pool lift can run $4,000 – $10,000 and the installation of each lift can cost $5,000 – $10,000.

After pressure from the industry, myself, Senators Jim DeMint, Roy Blunt, and Lindsey Graham, the White House extended the compliance deadline for 60 days. Additionally, DOJ will publish a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements, as those affected by this ruling still have concerns about compliance ability, timeframe, economic cost, and rising insurance premiums.

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