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

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5326) making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes:

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chair, I rise today out of concern for the language in this bill that would hinder the access of people with disabilities to swimming pools.

The standards that this language would undermine were based on standards first adopted under the Bush Administration. They are common-sense, flexible, and an important step for our constituents with disabilities.

Yet the language in this bill would prohibit the Department of Justice from enforcing these regulations, even though swimming venues only need to satisfy these standards if doing so is ``readily achievable'' and does not cause an undue burden.

These regulations would allow disabled Americans seeking to swim for physical relief, emotional therapy, or simple enjoyment the ability to do so, thus enjoying the same benefits that you or I would receive from swimming. And the regulations ensure that no business faces an undue hardship in doing so.
I'm disappointed that this language made its way into the bill.

Sometimes it feels like there is little we can agree on here, and I would hope that providing physical, emotional, and social relief to Americans struggling with physical disabilities while not imposing on businesses would be something we could come together on. I hope that as this bill goes to conference, this harmful language is removed so that all Americans--regardless of abilities--can enjoy one of life's simple pleasures.

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