May 30, 2023, Volume I Issue I

 

Welcome to ACMA’s new newsletter focused on Washington, D.C. goings-on that affect your business. About once or twice a month, as the actions warrant it, we’ll be providing you with the following information that’s directly relevant to your business. As this is our inaugural edition, we welcome any comments, criticism, requests for improvement, etc., by simply emailing pmiller@catalogmailers.org.

Executive Summary
The chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission along with a former USPS Board member and former Chairman of a House committee recently co-authored a whitepaper calling for improvements to the postal regulatory process. Also, new privacy bills in several states, a potential improvement in sales tax collection, and the latest goings-on in the Washington legislature.

 

Issues of Relevance to ACMA Members

Postal: A Next-Generation, Proactive Postal Regulatory System (full article)
On May 22, 2023, Michael Kubayanda, Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission; Tom Davis, former Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; and  David Williams, former Vice Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors and former Inspector General of the Postal Service, released a whitepaper detailing their views on ways to improve the postal regulatory process.

As they note in the whitepaper, the PRC needs access to additional financial resources. They also explain that they believe the PRC needs to adapt to modern times, specifically with greater information technology. This would enable them to accurately track and access data from USPS and the PRC and be better used by postal stakeholders, policymakers, and the public. The authors believe that if these changes and others are made, it will allow the PRC to be “nimbler, more responsive, and better serve all Americans.”

Privacy: Montana Becomes Ninth State to Enact Comprehensive Privacy Legislation (full article)
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed SB 384, the Consumer Data Privacy Act (CDPA), into law on May 19th, making Montana the ninth state to enact a comprehensive consumer privacy bill. The CDPA establishes a framework to control and process consumer personal data in the state. The law includes a lower applicability threshold due to the state’s smaller population, a requirement to recognize universal opt-out mechanisms, additional children’s privacy provisions, broad privacy rights, and a sunset on right to cure. It will go into effect on October 1, 2024.

Sales Tax: Sales Tax Group Moves Forward on Single Filing Portal Concept (full article)
Last week, the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board (SSTGB) met to discuss the challenges of state compliance as it relates to sales tax. The SSTGB approved one recommendation that would encourage states participating in the tax simplification compact to exclude a transaction threshold for remote sellers. This provision would help to simplify compliance for remote sellers.

 

Happening in Washington

Debt Limit Deal

  • House Speaker McCarthy and President Biden struck a deal over Memorial weekend to address the looming debt limit. The final bill, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, lifts the debt limit for two years and is a true compromise between the “clean” debt limit increase Biden has been calling for and the sweeping spending cuts package passed by House Republicans last month.
  • In addition to raising the debt limit, the deal includes moderate cuts to federal spending, speeds up permitting for the nation’s energy projects – a policy priority for both parties in recent months – rescinds $20 billion in IRS funding passed by Congress last year, implements new work restrictions on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance programs, and rescinds $28 billion in unspent COVID funding passed by Congress in 2020.
  • The final deal highlights the new dynamics in Washington ushered in by a divided government. After months of Biden demanding a debt limit bill that was not tied to any spending cuts, he was forced to meet Republicans at the negotiating table. However, Biden was also successful in protecting his legislative priorities, including the Inflation Reduction Act, from the significant cuts House Republicans had called for. “The agreement also represents a compromise, which means no one got everything they want,” the President told reporters Sunday night. “But that’s the responsibility of governing.”
  • Party leaders are now faced with the challenge of whipping enough support to clear both chambers before the nation runs out of borrowing authority on June 5th. The House was to return May 30th in the evening for a series of suspension votes on the package. However, the first notable challenge will come in the House Rules Committee, which was to meet the afternoon of May 30th to set parameters for the bill’s passage and debate on the House floor. Three of the nine Republicans on the committee have publicly opposed the deal. If all three vote against the bill, GOP leadership will need to rely on Democrats to help bring the bill to the floor. Speaker McCarthy is expected to bring two-thirds of the required votes for the package and is expected to be closely counting each GOP vote in the days ahead. While progressives have been vocal in their opposition to the final package, moderate democrats, including the New Democrat Coalition and the Problem Solvers Caucus, are expected to support the package.
  • The Senate will begin consideration of the bill as soon as Thursday. It is not yet clear if senators who have opposed the final compromise will throw up any roadblocks to its passage with the looming default deadline.

2024 Election Updates

  • Last week, South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially launched their 2024 presidential campaigns.
  • Scott, one of the most prominent Black Republicans in the country, delivered an optimistic speech last Monday and pitched himself as a candidate focused on “freedom and hope and opportunity.” While Scott took opportunities to criticize President Biden, he avoided any mention of former President Trump or other Republican opponents in 2024. “Today, I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression,” he said. Notably, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) gave an opening prayer at Scott’s campaign event.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy on Wednesday via Twitter. DeSantis is widely viewed as Trump’s most serious challenger in 2024 after becoming a household name in recent years and easily winning re-election in 2022. After months of anticipation for his announcement, DeSantis chose to announce his candidacy during a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk rather than airing on mainstream media, hindered by assorted technical glitches.

 

State Privacy Watch

Enacted State Privacy Laws

Soon to be Enacted Privacy Laws

Pending Privacy Legislation

  • TexasHB 4 Texas Data Privacy & Security Act (effective March 1, 2024 if enacted)
    • Summary: The bill is modeled after the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act and grants consumers various rights over their personal data, such as the right to access, correct, delete, and obtain a copy of their data. It also imposes obligations on businesses regarding data protection, transparency, and accountability.

 

© 2023 American Catalog Mailers Association, Inc. This newsletter is for ACMA members only. To protect the integrity of your membership, please do not share this outside of your company.

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