For generations, our nation’s public lands have been treasured sources of respite, enjoyment, and beauty available to every American. The great outdoors also plays a critical role in our economy, with the $778 billion outdoor recreation industry supporting 5.2 million American jobs.
In northern Indiana, we know that better than most: 80 percent of the nation’s RVs are produced here. It’s why Elkhart, which I represent in Congress, is proud to be known as the “RV Capital of the World.”
As Americans continue to face the unprecedented public health and economic crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for recreation, beauty, and economic growth has never been clearer.
Congress is ready to meet the moment with bipartisan legislation that I hope will soon reach the president’s desk. Next week, the House will consider the Great American Outdoors Act, which recently passed the Senate. This legislation will support RV manufacturers and workers, promote conservation, and revitalize our national parks – such as the Indiana Dunes, which last year became Indiana’s first national park.
By investing in long-delayed maintenance projects, the bill will modernize aging infrastructure across our public lands. By permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, it will protect our nation’s most precious natural resources. And by enhancing access to our nation’s public lands, the Great American Outdoors Act will further drive outdoor tourism and recreation, boosting this vital industry and supporting the jobs of countless hardworking Americans.
As co-chair of the bipartisan House RV Caucus, I’ve worked with my colleagues to move this historic bill forward, and I’m grateful to the RV Industry Association for being a key partner in this effort.
I look forward to voting for this bipartisan bill that will protect the great outdoors, support RV manufacturers and workers, and ensure our national parks can be enjoyed by all Americans for generations to come.
As RVers head back outdoors, it is more critical than ever for Congress to address the deferred maintenance and infrastructure needs negatively affecting our iconic public lands. This landmark vote by the House of Representatives is scheduled for Wednesday, July 22. Please lend your voice to this important bill and contact your Representative today and ask them to pass the Great American Outdoors Act.