ABMA Signs Letter Supporting Small Business Protections; House Considers Vehicle Choice Legislation

ABMA Supports Legislation to Delay the Corporate Transparency Act

This week, ABMA signed onto a letter in support of the Protecting Small Business Information Act of 2023 (H.R. 4035) that would delay burdensome reporting requirements imposed on small and medium-sized businesses under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). The statute was enacted in 2020 with the stated purpose of curtailing money laundering, terrorist funding and other criminal activities. The law requires frequent reporting to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) beginning January 1, 2024. Unfortunately, the law applies to companies with under $5 million in annual revenue and fewer than 20 employees. Failure to comply with the reporting requirement will incur a $500 per day penalty and fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to 2 years.

The law is specific on who has to report and the types of information that must be reported. The problem is that FinCen has not developed any plans for communicating to business owners their upcoming obligations under the CTA. Also, key rulemakings on important aspects of the law have not been finalized. H.R. 4035 simply delays CTA from taking effect until FinCen finalizes these rules. Seventy-nine other organizations signed the letter along with ABMA.

House to Vote on Vehicle Choice Legislation

On Thursday, the full House is expected to vote on H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act. The bill would prohibit states from implementing electric vehicle purchase mandates.

In August 2022, the California Air Resources Board—the state’s lead environmental agency— announced new regulations banning gas-powered cars and mandating electric cars by 2035. In addition, another 17 other states have laws that link their vehicle emissions standards to those set in California, meaning the electric vehicle mandate would impact tens of millions of consumers across the country. It is estimated that the states adopting California’s 2035 rule represent more than 40 percent of total U.S. car purchases.

H.R. 1435 would simply prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing waivers to states seeking to ban or limit internal combustion engine vehicles. The legislation is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House but will not move in the upper chamber. The bill does have a companion in the Senate—S. 2090 sponsored by Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)—but it only has Republican cosponsors and is not supported by Democrat leadership or the Administration. 

Members of Congress Discuss Potential Shut Down

ABMA attended a number of political events this week for Members of Congress where the topic of a government shutdown inevitably arose. Most believe that a shutdown of some duration is inevitable, either October 1 when the current government funding measure runs out or later this fall. Speaker McCarthy’s announcement earlier this week green lighting an impeachment inquiry into President Biden’s actions was seen as a bargaining chit to persuade members of the House Freedom Caucus to vote for a short-term Continuing Resolution. It is uncertain whether that announcement will be enough, however, as certain Members continue to insist that any CR include border security and other provisions that are not supported in the Senate. We will keep you apprised of what we are hearing.