Last week, a record number of distributors and manufacturers in ASA traveled to Washington to network, receive updates on pending legislation, and educate their elected officials on the impact policy changes could have on them and their businesses.
Across the country, millions of Americans are frustrated with the inactions of Congress, none more so than members of the American Supply Association. As we’ve learned, without consistent pressure from America’s heartland, outside of the Beltway, Washington has little incentive to act.
Legislative Fly-ins provide businesses and employers an opportunity to meet with their elected officials and share with them actual accounts and not just anecdotes about how Washington is helping or harming the business climate. And as we learned, our job is not just to speak with our allies, but also our adversaries and remind those who oppose our issues, that we will not go quietly in the night.
One of those key issues of that most members of Congress understand, but do not want to advance, is the Marketplace Fairness Act. ASA members met with those that love it, hate it and are indifferent about it. Some consider it a new tax that they do not want to go on record as supporting, others, particularly those in the House have a strong dislike for the legislation that passed the Senate, while others seemed overly sympathetic to the dwindling community that relies on 20th century mail-order catalogues.
ASA used this opportunity to add our voice to a conversation that for too long, was a battle between Ebay and Main Street retailers. Now, plumbing and PVF wholesalers, who provide some of the most essential items to homeowners and industrial facilities, have weighed in, calling on the House to move this important piece of legislation. And as we learned, yet another precarious wrinkle has emerged. If the Senate flips to Republican control, those in the GOP that do not support this legislation, will put the brakes on this and prevent its advancement in 2014.
This just one reason why our Legislative Fly-in was so important, because without hearing from business owners and truly feeling the pressure, Congress will not act!
To learn more about what ASA is doing in Washington, D.C. for the industry, visit our Advocacy section.