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

Floor Speech

By:  Alan Nunnelee
Date: May 8, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NUNNELEE. Madam Chair, this measure is not about undermining the Americans with Disabilities Act. This measure is not about denying access. If it were, I would be part of leading the charge to defend that access in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The reason for that is because when I was in college, I lost my eyesight. When I graduated from college, I was blind. I'd been denied a job because of my blindness. I would defend every person's right to access, and I would defend the Americans with Disabilities Act. But this proposal is about finding a reasonable solution to a problem rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all dictate from the bureaucracy of Washington.

There seems to be a serious disconnect between the people that are writing the regulations and those that have to comply with them. Portable lifts accomplish the same access, and they are much easier to install and can be installed at a lower cost. These fixed lifts are much more costly to install, and the net effect is that hotels and municipalities will simply close their swimming pool rather than comply with this new regulation. Many hotels have already begun to comply by ordering portable lifts and making those available, but that money and effort will be wasted because the Department of Justice has decided that only fixed lifts will meet the regulation.

The problem here is that the bureaucrats who don't have to live with the consequences of the rules they write really don't care how much it costs the small business owners. They just want to tell other people what to do, no matter what the real world consequences are.

Our goal is not to deny access. Our goal is to find a reasonable way for businesses to comply with this new regulation in a fair and reasonable manner and in a cost-effective manner that will ensure access to every American.

Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.


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