Take Action Alerts

Aug. 23, 2021

House Could Take Up Infrastructure Bill this Week

The U.S House of Representatives is expected to take up the $1 trillion bipartisan INVEST in American Act as early as this week. The bill would invest $550 billion in infrastructure over five years, including constructing new roads, bridges and rail lines, as well as maintaining existing ones.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking businesses to contact their legislators and encourage them to support the package. To find your U.S. representative and his or her contact information, visit house.gov/representatives and enter your home zip code in the top right corner. For your U.S. senators, visit senate.gov and click on the “Find Your Senators” by state dropdown menu in the top left corner.

To learn more about the infrastructure bill and to read 10 reasons why the U.S. Chamber supports the bipartisan deal, please click here
 

July 19, 2021

National Restaurant Association Publishes RRF Fact Sheet

Since the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) ran out of money last month, nearly 200,000 restaurants have been stuck in a state of limbo, waiting to see if Congress would replenish the lifeline fund. To help spur bipartisan action, the National Restaurant Association has published a fact sheet detailing the critical need to further fund the program.

“While many in our nation’s capital assume the challenges facing restaurants in their hometowns are a distant memory now that restaurants are open and busy again, we know reality is far from that,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Food costs continue to rise; recruitment challenges mean many restaurants can’t fully open and that’s keeping revenue below expectations.”

The complete fact sheet is available here.

The National Restaurant Association is asking businesses and organizations to contact their legislators and urge them to support further funding for the RRF. To find your U.S. representative and his or her contact information, visit house.gov/representatives and enter your home zip code in the top right corner. For your U.S. senators, visit senate.gov and click on the “Find Your Senators” by state dropdown menu in the top left corner.
 

July 12, 2021

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Plans Day of Action

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding a day of action on Tuesday, July 13 to let Congress know that a proposed increase to the corporate tax rate would hurt employers, including 1.4 million small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses that wish to participate can contact their legislators using this page.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden revealed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would have been paid for in part by raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent in addition to other tax changes that would affect companies. Since then, Biden has shifted his support to a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that would reportedly not increase corporate taxes. However, the business community remains concerned that raising corporate taxes will continue to be part of the president’s agenda.
 

June 28, 2021

Fourth of July Recess Offers Opportunity for Businesses to Contact Legislators

The Biden Administration is continuing to pursue the largest tax increase in history to fund an ambitious agenda to massively expand the role and reach of government. This legislation – which is now being considered by Congress- will reverse the positive impact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 had on the American economy before the pandemic. Lower taxes and smart regulations remain key building blocks of the growing economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says.

To counteract the administration’s efforts to raise taxes, the U.S. Chamber is asking businesses to contact their legislators while they are home in their districts over the Fourth of July recess. Click here to use the Chamber’s one-click advocacy tool to ask senators and representatives not to undermine the nation’s economic recovery.
  

June 14, 2021

National Restaurant Association Pushing to Add $60 Billion to Relief Program

Summarized from the National Restaurant Association

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) has been an incredibly effective recovery tool for the restaurant industry, but for too many owners, the $28.6 billion in funding won’t last long enough for them receive a dollar in disaster funding. The Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates it needs at least an additional $50 billion just to fund the applications submitted before the application portal was closed.

Last week, legislators introduced the RRF Replenishment Act. This new legislation will direct $60 billion in funding to the SBA, allowing it to complete the mission and provide sorely needed recovery dollars for the restaurant industry.

The work of these sponsors, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Rep, Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) has been critical. But they need our help. This bill will not be brought to the floor for debate unless there is broad bipartisan support. Congress heard our voice when they created the RRF – they need to hear from us again to ensure it receives more funding. Many here in Washington D.C. think the return to indoor dining means that restaurants will be fully back to normal within a few months. The truth is that this industry is incredibly vulnerable and faces a long path to recovery. We need this bill.

“When the RRF portal closed in May, small business restaurant owners all wanted to know ‘what’s next’ for their pending applications,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “The introduction of this additional $60 billion in funding not only answers that question but proves once again that Congress understands and supports the foodservice industry.

“For much of the country, life is starting to feel close to normal,” he continued. “While restaurants are optimistic about this trend, we’re still in the early days of rebuilding and are far from recovery. Industry revenue continues to be below expectations and in many states we’re still operating under limitations. To make sure we don’t lose our rebuilding momentum, we will continue to focus on creating access to the tools the industry needs to address outstanding obligations and to manage the new challenges that could slow our recovery.”

To show your support for the RRF Replenishment Act, please click here.
 

June 1, 2021

Chamber Shares Resources to Oppose Tax Hikes

Summarized from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As you know, the Biden Administration is currently pursuing the largest tax increase in history to fund an ambitious agenda to massively expand the role and reach of government paid for by American job creators. This legislation – which is now being considered by Congress – will reverse the positive impact that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 had on the American economy before the pandemic. Lower taxes and smarter regulations remain key building blocks of a growing economy.

Over the Memorial Day recess, while your Representatives are in their home districts, we need your help reminding them to reject job-killing tax hikes. Click here to use the U.S. Chamber's one-click advocacy tool to prevent Congress from undermining our nation’s economic recovery.

Click here to view a one-pager from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Economic and Tax Policy Division which includes an overview on corporate tax rates, talking points and additional resources.
 

June 1, 2021

NAW Seeking Stories About How Distributors Benefit from Inventory Accounting Method

Summarized from Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

The NAW-led LIFO Coalition continues to work to ensure that a repeal of last in, first out (LIFO) inventory accounting is not included as a “pay-for” in tax or spending legislation. We have had numerous meetings with Democratic and Republican members of the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate and continue to get great feedback and reports that LIFO repeal is not being considered – or even discussed – as the tax bills develop in Congress. Some of the key Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have long been, and continue to be, allies in our mission to protect LIFO, and we have been told anecdotally that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has said he is also not considering LIFO repeal.

Despite the consistent and welcome good news, NAW and the coalition continue to work the issue. We are currently trying to identify House Democrats who do not serve on the tax-writing committee who would be willing to sign a joint letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) simply notifying her of their interest in protecting LIFO, so she is aware of the issue should it come up in later tax discussions. We are also working to build relationships with new members of Congress who are most likely not familiar with LIFO to provide them with background information on the accounting method. To that end, the coalition’s consulting firm, The Herald Group, has taken a LIFO chart and explanatory material prepared by one of the tax experts in the coalition and created a visual document explaining how LIFO works. Companies on LIFO clearly understand the issue in much greater depth, but we think this visual guide will be very useful in demonstrating LIFO as an essential business tool to members of Congress unfamiliar with inventory accounting methods. 

Finally, The Herald Group is always looking for good anecdotal stories from LIFO users on the importance of LIFO to their business, and we would particularly like to include on our coalition website any videos that businesses would be willing to provide, talking about their use of LIFO. If you would consider providing either a written or videotaped LIFO comment, please email Jade West at jwest@naw.org.
 

May 24, 2021

Employer Feedback Shows Pandemic Unemployment Benefit Hurting Jobs Numbers

Summarized from Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

As you know, the April jobs report was very disappointing, with only 266,000 jobs created, well below the estimated one million. President Joe Biden said in response that the pandemic unemployment benefit had no “measurable” impact on the low jobs number and that “people will come back to work if they are paid a decent wage.”

Employer comments in general and specific feedback we have received from NAW members all contradict the president’s assertions. And consistent with employer concerns about the pandemic unemployment insurance (UI) benefit, as of Mid-May 16 states have either terminated the extra payment or initiated steps to do so. Similarly, about half the states have begun to reimpose the “work search” condition for UI eligibility, and the President has asked the Department of Labor to review working with other states to do so as well.

In response to these actions, proponents of the extra UI payment are making the case that the pandemic payment should not be terminated and that the work search requirement should not be re-instated. In a May 13th commentary, the Century Foundation described the actions of governors to end the pandemic payments as “dereliction of responsibility” and “an affront to the workers in these states.” And yesterday the New York Times ran a story noting that the work search requirement “presents an undue hardship.”

UI proponents use stories of specific individuals whom they argue would be harmed by reform of the UI program to make the case against any changes in the policy, and they dismiss claims that the UI benefits create a disincentive for returning to work.

We need to fight this battle in a similar fashion and need specific examples of the UI benefit in fact making it difficult for employers to hire. Several NAW members have provided us with examples of job openings going unfilled, potential workers expressly turning down work because of the UI benefit, workers applying for work then not showing up for interviews or accepting jobs then not showing up for work. We have had the opportunity to share these stories (anonymously) with senators and House members, who use our anecdotes to make the case for reform of the programs.

If you have similar anecdotal stories, please share them with us by emailing Jade West at jwest@naw.org. They really do make a difference on Capitol Hill.
 

April 19, 2021

Allowing Younger Truck Drivers to Cross States Lines Will Alleviate Shortage

FEDA is asking member companies to contact their legislators about supporting the DRIVE Safe Act (S. 659 and H.R. 1475). The bill aims to help alleviate the truck driver shortage by allowing individuals under the age of 21 to obtain a commercial driver’s license and participate in interstate commerce.

The DRIVE Safe Act Coalition, of which FEDA is a member, recently sent a letter urging the law’s passage to members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. As the letter states, the trucking industry needs an additional 60,800 truck driver’s immediately, and that deficit is expected to grow to more than 160,000 by 2028. Passing the act would help carriers close that gap while providing young drivers an opportunity to go through a thorough training process.

The letter, which can be read in full here , was signed by 117 organizations and associations, including FEDA. However, more support is needed. To find your U.S. representative and his or her contact information, visit house.gov/representatives and enter your home zip code in the top right corner. For your U.S. senators, visit senate.gov and click on the “Find Your Senators” by state dropdown menu in the top left corner.
 

April 12, 2021

Toolkit Provides Samples Posts and Graphics for Social Media

Sample social media graphic from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As part of its efforts to oppose the proposed PRO Act, which would substantially rewrite the country’s labor laws, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has published a Stop the PRO Act Toolkit. FEDA encourages members to use these sample posts for social media, letter templates, and graphics to urge their legislators to vote “no” on the bill.

Additionally, the Chamber held a Day of Action on Apr. 6 asking trade associations, state and local chambers, and concerned Americans to make their opposition to the proposed law known on social media using the hashtag #StopthePROAct.

For more information on the PRO Act and how it will alter existing labor laws, click here.