Below is a list of updated issues and activities related to the full ASA Legislative Agenda.
IMPACT Energy Act
This bill will establish a nonprofit foundation that will engage with the private sector to raise funds that support the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies that address tomorrow’s energy challenges. The foundation would serve as the ideal framework to organize, connect, and lead such a diverse group of partners. This would bridge the gap between DOE and other federal agencies.
Infrastructure will most likely be a bi-partisan win for the 116th Congress. When thinking about infrastructure, most people think of roads and transportation, but buildings are an important and essential part of infrastructure too. Including what goes into the buildings, such as plumbing and heating and cooling. As the next Congress goes into offices ASA has been meeting with congressional offices to ensure that resilient buildings do not get left when coming to the table for the BIG infrastructure bill that will be coming in 2019.
On January 28, 2019, ASA signed onto a letter sent by The Clean Water Council to House and Senate 116th Congress Leadership, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
On March 4, 2019 ASA again joined other organizations in sending a letter to the Honorable Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure expressing our support for the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act.
Marketplace Fairness- South Dakota v. Wayfair Guidance
This case was a win for brick and mortar businesses. In a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, states may now charge sales tax to out of state businesses. Even without a physical presence in the state. However, Congress has still not implemented any type of guidance for companies selling out of state. If you are still looking for guidance on this issue, see a state by state chart and analysis of the sales tax rules or contact Catherine Treadwell, J.D., Director of Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As independent, small-and medium-sized businesses, as well as national wholesaler-distributers and manufacturers, members of ASA support tax reform that recognizes the diversity in our economy and the need to encourage growth through a business friendly environment.
Business Interest Expense
ASA has submitted comments of concern related to proposed amendment to §163(j) by placing additional limitations on the deduction of the business interest expense for taxpayers and expanding the group of taxpayers to which it applies. The new §163(j) that applies through the end of 2021 would limit the formula to exclude depreciation and amortization. This would make the amount that businesses could deduct even smaller. This proposed IRS formula would essentially go beyond an EBITDA formula and would immensely affect ASA members’ tax liability in a negative manner.
President Trump signed the Unites States Mexica Canada Agreement on November 30, 2018. The agreement is a trilateral trade agreement with the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The agreement will account for $1.2 Trillion in trade. This modernized agreement is essential part of securing a stronger trade deal for the United States economy and jobs. North American market is the biggest market for U.S. exports in the world. However, Congress still needs to review and ratify the agreement. ASA calls on Congress to act NOW, to review the USMCA before January. Read ASA’s letter of support for President Trump’s negotiation and signing of the USMCA.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a new manufacturing one-pager that underscores the importance of congressional passage of the USMCA to restore certainty, promote U.S. manufacturing growth, compete globally and support millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs.
Transportation—The Drive Safe Act
Transportation has been a huge issue for ASA members. There are several reasons that transportation issues have effected companies, but the lack of truck drivers available has plagued almost every industry across the U.S. The Drive Safe Act will allow 18-21 year olds to drive intrastate and interstate, with an additional 400 hours of training. This would create more truck driving jobs and help alleviate the pressure and burdens on the PHCP and PVF industry that ASA members are currently facing, pertaining to transportation.
ASA Advocacy met with Senator Manchin to ask him so Co-Sponsor the Senate version of the bill. He has since agreed to be one of the democrat co-sponsors. The House (H.R. 1374) and Senate (S. 569) have both dropped versions of the Drive Safe Act. ASA Advocacy is currently meeting with democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in districts where ASA has members. Please check back for updates.
We Need Your Help!
The Drive Safe Act is now being considered by the Senate and House. Please go to the ASA Grassroots page and contact your State Senators and House Representative asking them to support the Act.
The following is being provided as additional resources and background related to the Drive Safe Act:
ASA supports more investment in applied technology training to return craft education to our schools and to encourage the next generation to join our workforce.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was signed by President Trump on July 31, 2018. This act reforms and reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which authorizes $1.2 billion for career and technical education in FY 2019, up from $1.1 billion in 2017. Funding for the next five years is authorized to rise modestly, reaching $1.3 billion in FY 2024. The law will take effect on July 1, 2019. This was a step in the right direction for The Administration and Congress. However, it is a long way from being finished.
ASA Opposes the PRO Act—Protecting the Right To Organize
The House may vote on H.R.2474, the Protecting the Right To Organize (PRO) Act, as soon as this June.
The bill attempts to implement a number of highly contentious policies from the Obama administration that have been struck down by courts, opposed on a bipartisan basis in Congress, or have been abandoned by the federal agencies charged with implementing them. These include, but are not limited to, codifying the Obama-era joint- employer standard into law, banning right-to-work laws, forcing union representation without an election, and undermining independent contractor status.
The PRO Act treads on employee rights and ignores the consequences of making radical changes to well established law by taking away rights to employee privacy and association, destroys businesses, and threatens entire industries.
In anticipation of this vote, ASA Advocacy has signed onto a letter written by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace that will be sent to every Representative.