Our nation's history is filled with many great examples of industry and government working together to resolve society’s problems and issues, while seeking opportunities for the "greater good." Our nation's history is also filled with as many great examples of legislatures and regulatory bodies trampling industry's interests in pursuit of what is believed to be for the "greater good."
Are lawmakers and governments well intentioned? Perhaps. Is the manner, at times, in which they seek their objectives shortsighted? No doubt. The truth is that full engagement from both sides — industry and government (local, state, federal) — is the only way to pursue the "greater good."
With all of this in mind, PHCC is providing expanded grassroots services to its members. This includes monitoring and tracking industry issues on a daily basis, and if need be, mobilizing members to advance a piece of legislation or regulation.
PHCC sees much potential in grassroots efforts for this primary reason: the p-h-c industry is a natural grassroots powerhouse and harnessing its strength and unleashing its firepower is only a matter of structuring its ability to optimize its potential. PHCC will continue to engage lawmakers and regulators to educate them on the p-h-c industry, and when needed, to use our structured grassroots network system so that we can mobilize our collective voice in order to advance our interests.
Issue update at a glance…
• 3% Withholding Repeal – the full House overwhelmingly passed legislation to repeal the 3% withholding on government construction contracts. The repeal will now be considered in the Senate. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, all federal and state contracts for goods and services will be subject to a 3% income tax withholding on each and every payment over $10,000 to a contractor. The requirement also applies to large local governments that make $100 million or more in annual expenditures for goods and services. PHCC President Keith Bienvenu sent a letter recently to House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp requesting the committee move 3% withholding repeal legislation to the House floor. "Congress should be pursuing policies that encourage, not hamper, job creation in the private sector," Bienvenu stated. Unless repealed by Jan. 1, 2013, the 3% withholding tax will go into effect. The tax will cause an unprecedented paperwork burden for the government and companies who provide goods or services to them, and also force firms to increase costs to offset the impact of delayed payments and disrupted cash flows. PHCC National is working very closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a massive grassroots campaign and the success in the House is a direct result of the grassroots impact.
• Death Tax – PHCC continues to lobby in support and urge Members of Congress to cosponsor legislation to permanently repeal the death tax; 169 members of the House have signed onto the repeal. PHCC National continues to work with the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition and the American Family Business Institute to repeal the death tax.
• Lead Paint – PHCC effectively lobbied the House Appropriations Committee to approve an amendment that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with its own regulation regarding renovation work in homes and buildings that may contain lead-based paint before placing more burdens on renovation contractors.
• Career and Technical Education – PHCC is working with the House Congressional CTE Caucus to help increase the number of members of the House serving on the Caucus. As the number of members on the caucus increases, maintaining and possibly increasing funding for CTE programs will become more likely.
• Workforce Guidelines – PHCC is currently working with officials from the Department of Energy in conjunction with the department’s pursuit of a certification process for home energy improvement upgrades.
• Outreach to Regulatory Agencies – PHCC is establishing and maintaining business relationships with federal-regulatory agencies including working directly with the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration to identify overly burdensome regulations impacting the p-h-c industry.
Mark R. Riso is director of government relations for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, he can be reached at [email protected].