May 22, 2017 - Weekly Legislative Update

Permanent WOTC Support

The Military Coalition, an organization of 32 major veterans organizations that cooperates with WOTC Coalition, has sent the attached letter to Congress supporting permanent WOTC.

TIA is grateful to Michael Saunders of The Retired Enlisted Association and Forrest Allen of the Military Officers Association of America for preparing and coordinating this letter with members of The Military Coalition.

TIA also wants to thank Col. Frank G. Wickersham III (USMC, Retired) for his help launching this project.

TIA had successfully lobbied in 2011 for the passage of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act. Between 2013 - 2015, some 278,611 veterans were certified for WTOC, showing its importance for addressing the veteran unemployment crisis.

Please click here for letter from the Military Coalition

Marketplace Fairness Act for Online Sales Introduced in Congress

The House and Senate have reintroduced separate legislation - the Remote Transactions Parity Act (H.R. 2193) and the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 976) - that closes the loophole permitting online merchants to avoid charging sales tax for internet purchases if they do not have a nexus in the state.

TIA supports the Remote Transactions Parity Act (H.R. 2193) and the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 976) so that local family owned businesses in the tire industry can compete fairly with large online corporations. These bills address very important issues for our members and we will expand our legislative efforts with its introduction to gain support in Congress.

Both bills take different approaches to ending unfair competition caused by this loophole, which puts brick-and-mortar retailers at a price disadvantage to remote sellers.

All brick-and-mortar retailers are encouraged to contact their federal legislators to urge passage of both S. 976 and H.R. 2193. 

Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 Passes House

TIA supports the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017.

H.R. 1180 sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, and co-sponsored by 17 others, would help American workers balance the competing demands of family and work by giving them flexibility to earn paid time off-time they can later use for any reason, including family commitments like attending school appointments and caring for a sick child.

In addition, H.R. 1180 contains critical protections to ensure employees can continue to choose overtime pay and to prohibit employers from coercing their employees to accept compensatory time instead of overtime pay. The bill would give employees who work more than 40 hours a week a choice between taking time off or being paid time-and-a-half for the overtime hours.

The House version, HR 1180, recently passed the House 229 to 197. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has introduced a companion bill (S. 801) in the Senate.

TIA supports the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 because it would alter the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a much-needed way to allow certain employees to choose to take paid time off rather than overtime pay when working more than 40 hours in a week.

The Administration supports H.R. 1180 and if it were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.

RPM Act Update

Great news!  Support for the RPM Act continues to build, as we have significant progress in adding cosponsors in both houses.  

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) signed on as a RPM Act cosponsor.  The Senate bill (S. 203) has 29 cosponsors (7 Democrats) and we are now just one Democrat short of a filibuster-proof majority. On the House side, H.R. 350 has 118 cosponsors (12 Democrats). 

TIA is urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) to schedule action on the bill.  We have had good staff meetings with the bill sponsors and E&C and EPW staff, with indications that the legislation is well-positioned for consideration once it can be scheduled.   

We look forward to building on the RPM Act's progress and ask for your assistance in pursuing the following Senate Democrat primary targets:

  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
  • Sen. John Warner (VA)
  • Sen. Tim Kaine (VA)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • Sen. Bob Casey (PA)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)

TIA continues to work closely with SEMA on this legislation.