Lame Duck Session, Rogue State Tax Actions, USPS In Financial Straits… What Does It All Mean?
Get To D.C. in Oct. & Nov.
Dear Industry Member:
There’s no doubt, catalogers and other remote merchants are facing a myriad of hurdles. But in Washington, anything’s possible as long as the final buzzer or last out of the 9th inning or the final putt on the 18th hole haven’t yet occurred. And so it goes for the ACMA’s October 11th and November 14th fly-ins, neither of which has a deadline or maximum capacity. (In other words, if you haven’t signed up, there’s still time.) Below are some simple Q&As about the issues our industry faces and the importance of getting to Washington this fall to do something about it.
Q: October 11th Fly-in – why attend? is it too late to sign up?
A: In comparison to the numerous other far-larger lobbies in Washington, ours is the eternal “David.” We have a nice number of attendees coming next week, but could certainly use more bodies up on Capitol Hill, and urge you to join us. There’s no registration fee; you’ll just need to click here to sign yourself up, then reserve a hotel room at or near our host hotel, the Washington Court. Although our discount room block is sold out, there are still rooms available at a reasonable rate. Click here to book a room.
Q: November 14th Fly-in – why another one? do I attend both or which one?
A: We specifically timed both of these fly-ins for maximum impact in the House and Senate. While we’ll still have some time prior to election day to encourage action on the Hill during next week’s fly-in, the November fly-in is timed right at the outset of an anticipated lame duck session, which would run from November 13th to December 13th.
Historically, lame duck sessions have yielded some of the most impactful legislation, so here will be our last opportunity. This particular lame duck serves as a final opportunity to put pressure on Congress to act.
As with next week’s fly-in, registration is free for the November 14th one. Discount hotel reservations are available now through October 16th. Use this link and enter our group code “AMER 001,” although the code should already show up on the web page. If you prefer, call 800-321-3010 and let them know you’re with the ACMA group. Our negotiated room rate is $309/night at the same hotel as for the October fly-in – the Washington Court.
Q: Isn’t the House going to be in recess next week?
A: The Senate will be in session next week while we have our fly-in. While the House will not be, all congressional aides will be present. Sometimes the best time to lobby is when the boss is not in town. It’s very rare you get face time with the actual members of Congress; rather, the aides are the ones who listen to the constituents, process what they hear, then make recommendations to the elected officials.
Q: Isn’t it going to be kind of late to lobby for our issues in mid-November too?
A: No. It’s widely expected that Congress will hold a “lame duck” session, which will take place during this time. During the lame duck session, the key items on the congressional to-do list will include keeping the government funded, voting on the 154 nominees awaiting Senate confirmation, passing the Farm Bill, intelligence reauthorization, National Flood Insurance Program, and Tax Extenders. We have an excellent opportunity to get our core postal and remote sales tax issues on the agenda.
Q: Can I make any impact?
A: Pardon another sports analogy, but it’s getting pretty close to two outs in the bottom of the ninth. With Democrats favored to retake the House, the likelihood of remote sales tax and postal reform legislation advancing in the new Congressional session next year is low given that Democrats on the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees have indicated they will be focused on issues related to the Trump Administration.
Vice President & Deputy Director
American Catalog Mailers Association