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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Madam Chairman, this is one of those moments in Congress where I swear we are almost talking about completely different things and the reality that I live in. I am blessed to represent Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the resort centers of the country. Come visit us. It's a wonderful place.

About a month and a half ago, I went and visited one of the resorts right down the street from where I grew up. They have seven pools, when you count the Jacuzzis. And I am walking through the resort with the manager, who I've known since high school, and he is just looking at me with these huge eyes saying, Have they lost their minds?

The first thing he points out to me is they've had a portable lift for a decade, and no one's ever asked for it. The second point he made--and he was emphatic on this--20 years ago, because of their tort liability, the insurance on their pools, they got rid of all of their diving boards. And now we're going to demand that they build fixed structures up against a Jacuzzi? I can't wait to see who is going to be standing there monitoring the beer drinking and not climbing on top of those and leaping into the Jacuzzi, using it as a swimming pool diving board.

Is anyone familiar with the concept of ``attractive nuisance''? Those who oppose the amendment, are you going to also step up and say, Well, we're going to provide you tort liability when someone jumps off and ends up in horrible shape? Because 20 years ago, we made a point to remove these types of hazards from the sides of pools and Jacuzzis.

But the third thing--and he was just livid on the point, saying, I have seven pools in my resort. We're barely making it today, and you're telling me that I am going to grind through my concrete, grind through my cool decking, grind through my patios to put power extension, build fixed lifts near every pool and Jacuzzi when no one's even asked for the portable one for 10 years?

What's wonderful about the amendment, if you actually read it and move away from some of the rhetoric, is it makes it very clear that this is about building permanent structures next to those pools and Jacuzzis. If they're going to mandate a portable with the other caveats, okay, fine. Live with that. We already have lots of experience with that. And that way you avoid the attractive nuisance near every pool--not the cost, not the tearing up, not the everything else that goes along with this.

At some point, our love and respect and wanting to help our brothers and sisters, particularly those that have mobility issues, we're there for them. We love them. We want to help. But we also have to have some bit of rationality. Let's actually step up and deal with this rationally, because I fear that the law of unintended consequences is going to be that some of my resorts are going to close down those Jacuzzis, close down those pools for access from anyone when there was a pragmatic solution, which is embracing the portable lifts. That was from every call I have made, up and down through Scottsdale. And if you have been there, you know we have resorts everywhere. I have not had a single manager of a resort call me back and say, Yes, we even use our portable one.

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Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Reclaiming my time, yes, we actually had a whole meeting in my office with them and actually had the whole discussion about both the attractive hazard of what happens when, you know, because of this, we create the next paralyzed American, and they looked at me with their eyes and said, You know, we hadn't thought about that. And as long as that resort has that portable one, we get our need taken care of. There is that pragmatic reality.

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Mr. SCHWEIKERT. No. No. We sat down and had a wonderful conversation. I believe they left understanding how impractical what was happening here, also how there is a much more pragmatic, much more cost-effective, and a much safer solution for the community.

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Mr. SCHWEIKERT. I met with actual people from Scottsdale with mobility issues. So I actually met with real constituents that are real people, not some organization.

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Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Mr. Chairman, I will try to speak somewhat quickly.

Being from the State of Arizona and having been a legislator in Arizona, having been a County Treasurer from Arizona, and now often find myself in forums having to explain, or trying to at least in some way figure out how to explain, why my Federal Government, why my Justice Department is suing my State.

And if you think about what we saw last year when we had the employer sanctions lawsuits, the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. We were at the Supreme Court standing out there a couple of weeks ago, suing our State again.

But one of the explanations of why does a State like Arizona stand up and have to do these types of laws, understand what you've done to my county, what you've done to my State in education, incarceration, and health care.

If we were having the debate right now of how the Federal Government was going to step up and do its job and reimburse the citizens of Arizona for what was a Federal cost but their failure, maybe we wouldn't be standing here supporting the gentlewoman's amendment. But I don't see that happening in this body.

So, in that case, let Arizona, let States stand up and defend themselves by, in our case, enforcing the actual Federal law.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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