Heard on the Hill

Schweikert, Quayle on Pool Duty

Rep. David Schweikert (above) is against a rule on pools in the Americans With Disabilities Act just like his primary opponent, Rep. Ben Quayle, but he hasn't exactly acknowledged that. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arizona Republican Reps. David Schweikert and Ben Quayle are pulling out all the stops in their bitter Member-vs.-Member primary in the Grand Canyon State’s redrawn 6th district, looking for ways to show voters where they diverge.

But one area on which the two agree? Handicapped access to swimming pools and hot tubs. They’re against proposed new rules under the Americans With Disabilities Act that would require public or hotel pools to provide disabled people access to chlorinated water.

Schweikert and Quayle have signed on to House legislation that would put the kibosh on the proposed rules, alongside fellow Arizona Republican Reps. Trent Franks and Paul Gosar and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.).

It’s hardly an academic exercise for Arizonans, especially the hospitality industry, which is well-represented in the state, particularly the Scottsdale district that Schweikert and Quayle hope to represent.

In the Senate, GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Roy Blunt (Mo.) have introduced similar legislation.

The rules, slated to go into effect last week, were delayed when the Justice Department announced it was pushing back the date of compliance 60 days.

“[E]very hotel, motel, lodging establishment, recreation center, YMCA, apartment complex, condominium complex, school, community pool, other public pools and spas, and any place that falls into the category of ‘public accommodation’ under the Americans with Disabilities Act” will eventually be forced to accommodate people with different abilities if the rules go into effect, Schweikert says in an email statement.

He welcomed the news that the DOJ was delaying the rules, saying “pressure from industry,” as well as from “myself” and DeMint, Blunt and Graham led to the department’s action.

Funny, he never did mention Quayle.

Jason Dick contributed to this report.

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