CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 3896, a bill to amend the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to provide a definition of recreational vessel, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 3896 was introduced on January 16, 2014 by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
H.R. 3896 amends the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to clarify the definition of a “recreational vessel” as a vessel: 1) manufactured or operated primarily for pleasure; or 2) leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter’s pleasure. This legislation also directs the Secretary of Labor, within 90 days of enactment, to amend the regulations that implement the recreational vessel exemption.
The LHWCA provides employment-injury and occupational-disease protection to longshore and maritime workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness. These benefits are paid: 1) by an authorized self-insured employer; 2) by an authorized insurance carrier; or 3) by, in some circumstances, a special fund administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). An amendment to the LHWCA in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) expanded an existing exemption for the recreational boating industry. This amendment allowed employers to provide state workers’ compensation instead of more costly insurance under the LHWCA. In 2011, the DOL implemented new regulations that had the effect of restricting the exemption for recreational vessels. H.R. 3896 will restore the provision implemented in 2009.
 See Id.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3896 would have no significant effect on the federal budget and would not affect pay-as-you-go spending.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.