Take Action Alerts

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.
 

March 8, 2021

Proposed Bill Would Overhaul Union Organizing Process

Summarized from Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on pro-union legislation entitled the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) have come out against the bill for the “radical” way it would rewrite the country’s labor laws and implement policies that were previously rejected by the judicial system, opposed on a bipartisan basis in Congress, and/or abandoned by the agencies asked to enforce them. The bill would undermine worker rights, drag employers into unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force individual Americans to pay union dues regardless of their wishes.

According to the NAW, the proposed changes in the bill include:

  • Replacing the private, secret ballot in union certification elections with a system called “card check.” Secret ballots are the only way to protect an individual’s freedom to choose without subtle or overt coercion.
  • Would prohibit arbitration agreements in employment contracts.
  • Would require employers to provide union organizers the contact information for all employees without prior approval from the employees themselves. Nor would the employees be able to opt-out of this requirement or have a say in which contact information is provided, exposing them to potential harassment and intimidation tactics.
  • Eliminates Right-to-Work protections for workers across the country, including in the 27 states that have passed Right-to-Work laws.
  • Significantly shortens the representation election time frame, allowing organizers to silence debate about the possible disadvantages of unionization generally or the specific union in question.
  • Eliminates employers’ ability to challenge union misconduct during elections and greatly expands the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) power to impose union representation on employers and employees without an election.
  • Expands the standard for determining when two separate companies are “joint-employers” and forces “joint-employers” to be mutually responsible for labor violations.
  • Would force a breach of attorney-client confidentiality and make it more difficult for employers to access legal counsel or other expert advice on complex labor and employee relations issues during union organizing drives.
  • Allows unions to engage in recognitional picketing indefinitely.

The NAW is strongly urging businesses to reach out to their legislators to oppose the PRO Act by visiting this link. The U.S. Chamber is also offering a form email business owners can send to Congress here.
 

February 22, 2021

Blueprint for State and Local Restaurant Recovery Urges Grants and Tax Relief

Since the pandemic began nearly a year ago, more than 110,000 restaurants have closed and 2.5 million restaurant employees remain unemployed. Returning to pre-pandemic levels will require the support of state and local governments, which is why the National Restaurant Association has launched the Blueprint for State and Local Restaurant Recovery and sent a letter to Greg Fischer, president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

The initiative urges lawmakers in legislatures and city councils across the country to take action that will help the restaurant industry survive the winter and ongoing pandemic. This may include:

  • Creating grants, tax credits, and tax breaks for restaurants and employees
  • Extending to-go cocktails or making them permanent
  • Providing property tax relief
  • Fully funding tourism promotion programs for 2021 and beyond

To amplify this effort, the National Restaurant Association is asking businesses to sign this petition calling on local leaders to act.
 

February 15, 2021

Businesses Asked to Contact Legislators

The National Restaurant Association is asking businesses to urge their legislators to co-sponsor the unified RESTAURANTS Act of 2021.

The bill, which was introduced by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), builds off the National Restaurants Association’s Blueprint for Recovery plan to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. It would establish a $120 billion revitalization fund to support independent restaurants and small franchises with 20 locations or fewer as they deal with the long-term structural challenges created by the impact of the pandemic. Federal grants under the bill could be used for a variety of business expenses, from retaining workers to inventory and rent.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are expected to include the text of RESTAURANTS Act in their upcoming COVID-19 relief bill. In the meantime, the National Restaurant Association has said the act needs as many bipartisan cosponsors as possible to demonstrate the immediate urgency of saving the restaurant industry.

The organization has set up a page to help businesses easily and quickly reach out to their senators and represents to ask them to cosponsor the bill. Please click here to add your voice to the effort.
 

February 4, 2021

Votes Set for Minimum Wage and RESTAURANTS Act

The Senate is slated to take procedural votes today on two amendments that are critical to the restaurant industry. The first is the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and eliminate the tip credit, a move which is expected to further harm a restaurant industry that is still hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The second is the Senate version of the RESTAURANTS Act, which would provide relief to local independent and franchised restaurants affected by COVID-19.

In support of the National Restaurant Associations, FEDA is asking members to contact their legislators to oppose the minimum wage increase and support the RESTAURANTS Act.

“A strong bipartisan vote tomorrow will go a long way in our continued fight on behalf of the industry,” the National Restaurant Association said of the RESTAURANTS Act.

The National Restaurant Association has set up two forms to help businesses reach their legislators, both of which are linked below.

January 25, 2021

#RallyForRecovery Advocates for Putting Employees Back to Work

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is making another push to urge lawmakers to support COVID-19 recovery legislation.

The latest effort asks businesses to send a letter to their congressional representatives asking them to turbocharge vaccination efforts, pass a fiscally and environmentally responsible infrastructure package and address the country’s workforce challenges, including working training programs and fixing the immigration system. FEDA members interested in signing on to the letter may do so by visiting this page.

Additionally, the Chamber has created the hashtag #RallyForRecovery and the 2021 State of American Business Toolkit to help businesses reach lawmakers on social media.

At the recent 2021 State of American Business address, U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said: “Working together, we can recover and rebuild, we can reform what’s broken, we can reaffirm our leadership, and we can renew the American promise of equal opportunity for all… Let’s go do it.”