Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASA has fought to ensure our industry is classified as essential at the federal and state levels – keeping businesses open, workers employed and customers served. In addition, ASA urged our Congressional leaders to implement, common sense employment regulations and tax relief in coronavirus stimulus legislation. By mobilizing over 1,800 member employees to send over 7,000 letters to state and local officials, ASA sought and received the legislative, tax and regulatory solutions needed to keep our member businesses strong.
In addition, ASA worked with its coalition partners to encourage Congress to pass meaningful COVID-19 relief legislation including the implementation and replenishment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowing temporary and targeted liability relief, enabling struggling business to claim bad debts sooner, support for the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, and on several other effective, lasting initiatives to help our nation’s recovery.
IMPACT Energy Act
This legislation establishes a non-profit foundation, which will engage 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 an ideal framework to organize, connect and lead such a diverse group of partners. Ultimately, this would bridge the gap between DOE and other federal agencies.
When thinking about infrastructure, most people think of roads and transportation. However, buildings are an important and essential part of infrastructure as well. This also includes the essential systems that go into buildings, such as plumbing and HVAC.
On May 1, 2020, ASA signed onto a statement by The Clean Water Council to Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, urging increased funding for America’s underground water infrastructure through the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA) and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (DWIA) and State Revolving Funds (SRF).
On June 30, 2020 ASA again joined other organizations in sending a letter to House and Senate Leadership urging them to pass the Surface Transportation Reauthorization before the September 30, 2020 deadline, as well as making a robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure system, so that it can aid in the recovery and renewal of our country.
On October 23, 2020 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued $40 million in state grant funding related to lead in drinking water. The state grants will assist state and municipalities in two critical areas: eliminated lead piping in their distribution systems; and helping schools and day care centers determine if they have lead in their drinking water and eliminating any part of the system contributing lead to the drinking water system. To find out more about the grants and how you can get involved read more.
Marketplace Fairness – South Dakota v. Wayfair Guidance
This landmark 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 Stephen Rossi at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 467-0000 ext. 227.
President Trump signed the United States Mexica Canada Agreement (USMCA) 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 an essential part of securing a stronger trade deal for America’s economic future. The North American market is the largest consumer of U.S. exports globally. However, Congress still needs to review and ratify the agreement.
As a result, ASA has remained vigilant on its support for USMCA, as well as necessary revisions to the agreement. On June 29, 2020, ASA, along with other coalition partners, sent a letter to the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee encouraging them to allow businesses to obtain refunds on merchandise processing fees, post importation.
Transportation – The DRIVE–Safe Act
Transportation is a critical issue for ASA members. While there are several reasons that transportation issues have effected many businesses nationally, the availability of qualified truck drivers has plagued almost every industry across the country. The DRIVE-Safe Act would allow qualified drivers that are 18 to 21 years old, to drive both intrastate and interstate, provided that they complete an additional 400 hours of training. This result of this legislation would create more well-paying, truck driving jobs and help alleviate the transportation challenges ASA members in the PCPH and PVF industries are currently facing.
The DRIVE-Safe Act is currently being considered by Congress. Do not miss this opportunity to have your voice heard. Please go to the ASA Grassroots Page and contact your Senators and Representatives to encourage them to support this crucial legislation.
ASA strongly supports more investment in applied technology training, in order 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 reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and authorizes $1.3 billion for career and technical education through FY2024.
Opposition to the PRO Act
On February 6, 2020, the House passed H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The bill attempts to implement a number of highly contentious policies 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 provisions include, but are not limited to, codifying the joint- employer standard into law, banning right-to-work laws, forcing union representation without an election and undermining independent contractor status.
The PRO Act negatively effects employee rights and ignores the consequences of making radical changes to well established law. Unfortunately, this legislation erodes the rights of workers that it professes to help. The legislation is now with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Decarbonization and Green House Gas Reduction Programs
ASA supports programs intended to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and allow for a smooth transition to cleaner energy; however, we do not support electric-only policies. ASA has developed a Position Statement on this issue and a one-page infographic.