ASA’s legislative and regulatory initiatives focus on those issues that specifically impact supply chain partners throughout the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Piping (PHCP) and industrial Pipe, Valves and Fittings (PVF) industry. Many of these partners share the unique qualities that come with being small, independent and family owned businesses from one generation to the next.
Tax & Business Issues
ASA is comprised of family-owned and independent businesses, large and small. ASA supports tax and business policies that enable ASA members to operate productive and efficient businesses. Congress should keep the tax rates paid by individuals and corporations at similar, low levels. Splitting business income and taxing it at significantly different rates would encourage planning to circumvent the higher rates, resulting in wasted resources and lower growth.
LIFO Repeal: ASA opposes repeal of the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of accounting for inventory. Repeal will create serious tax liabilities for many wholesalers and manufacturers. LIFO is a measurement tool widely used for accounting; it is not a preference in the tax code.
Border Adjustment Tax (BAT): Businesses cannot simply flip a switch and source materials made exclusively in the United States. A BAT would negatively impact consumers of nearly every single item in our economy, from fruits and seafood to clothing, apparel and plumbing equipment that we use everyday.
Sales Tax Fairness: ASA supports leveling the playing field between brick-and-mortar businesses like our members and those who sell online-only.
Permanent Repeal of the Death Tax: ASA supports full repeal of the death tax, which threatens the transfer of small businesses from one generation to the next.
ASA supports provisions in the tax code that encourage manufacturers and small businesses to invest in capital improvements and equipment purchases, increase domestic production, as well as rewarding home ownership by retaining the deduction of mortgage interest.
Health Care Reform
Health Insurance Tax (HIT): ASA opposes the HIT, which is levied on participants in the fully-insured market, where 87 percent of small businesses purchase their health insurance. 95% of small business owners have seen their health plan premiums increase in recent years. Over a decade, 152,000 to 286,000 private sector jobs will be lost as a result of the HIT, 57 percent of which will come from small businesses.
Association Health Plans: ASA supports association health plans, which would make health insurance more affordable by spreading risk among a much larger group.
Employer Mandate: ASA supports legislation scaling back new taxes on health insurance and mandates placed on employers, as well as a reasonable essential benefits requirement.
Environment, Water, Conservation & Energy Efficiency
ASA supports and promotes policies which conserve our nation’s natural resources and protect our environment.
Increasing our Energy Supply: As a key channel partner in the oil and gas industry, ASA supports the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Our members take pride in helping to safely transport gases and liquids to the benefit of the American economy each and every day.
WaterSense Partnership: ASA is a partner in EPA’s WaterSense program. A voluntary public-private partnership program, WaterSense seeks to promote water efficiency products through its partners. ASA supports legislation authorizing WaterSense.
Water Infrastructure: ASA supports legislation to adequately finance America’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. According to the EPA, CBO, and the GAO, the projected shortfall in clean water infrastructure investment will approach $500 billion over the next two decades.
Appliance Efficiency Standards: ASA supports uniform efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment. However, ASA opposes the enacted regional standards for residential heating and cooling products.
Copper Theft Prevention: ASA supports the Metal Theft Prevention Act, bipartisan legislation requiring the transactions between the sellers of copper and secondary metal recyclers to be documented and for penalties to be assessed for noncompliance.
Labor Management and Workforce Policy
ASA supports federal policies which allow employers and employees to work together. Most importantly, ASA supports policies that increase investment in training to return craft education to our schools and encourages the next general to join our workforce.
Increasing Craft Training: ASA supports legislation that invests in our next generation of workers needed to meet the demands in the distribution, construction and plumbing industry. According to ASA's 2015 Labor Study on the Future of our Workforce, by the year 2025, nearly 50,000 employees in the plumbing and PVF distribution will have retired, calling for a critical need to hire and train qualified replacements.
Preserve the Secret Ballot: ASA supports the right of workers to choose whether or not to be represented by a labor organization. The right to vote free of coercion is fundamental to the democratic election process. “Ambush Elections” deny employees’ access to critical information about unions and stripping employers of free speech and due process rights.
Persuader Rule: ASA opposes the DOL's recently enacted "Persuader Rule", which has been halted by a federal judge. The persuader rule significantly broadens the reporting requirements for employers, attorneys, trade associations and other third-party advisers under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act by redefining what is meant by labor relations “advice.”
Blacklisting: ASA opposed Obama-era executive order known as “Blacklisting.” If not stopped by the courts, it could prevent some federal contractors from winning future federal contracts, will discourage qualified businesses from pursuing federal contracts, threaten the stability of millions of Americans and increase costs to taxpayers.
Workplace Health and Safety
ASA recognizes the importance of worker health and safety.
OSHA Alliance: From 2009 - 2014, ASA and OSHA had an alliance to provide ASA members with information and access to training resources to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces. ASA hopes to continue its alliance in the new administration.
Asbestos Liability: ASA supports enactment of legislation ensuring a fair resolution of the asbestos litigation crisis.
Occupational Injury and Illness Reporting: ASA opposes OSHA’s proposal that would require employers to report within eight hours, all work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations; and within 24 hours, all work-related amputations. The uncertainties placed on the employer; during a period when they are addressing employee safety is overly burdensome.