The ABMA Legislative Committee met on Thursday, August 25th. Our Government Affairs Associate Pat Rita gave an update on our priority issues. We will be conducting a grassroots campaign to get Senate support for the Employer Directed Skills Act (HR6255) so we can hopefully get a Senate version introduced before the end of the year. We are taking similar action on the LICENSE Act (HR6567/S3556) in an attempt to get cosponsors before the end of 2022, so be on the lookout for an action alert in early September.
Ways and Means staff have expressed some concerns about proper application of the tax credits in the Strengthen Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act (HR7348). Pat is going to have a follow-up meeting with them to find out more details about staff concerns, as well as suggest a form from the employer certifying that the driver meets the eligibility criteria, similar to the certification the ACA required for health insurance.
ABMA is also working hard on the issue of the expired Softwood Lumber Agreement. We are working with Senator Collins’s office on getting a Congressional sign-on letter drafted that would go to the USTR, who we have a meeting with next week. Be on the lookout for a grassroots call to action in October – 7 years since the last SLA expired – to send a letter to Ambassador Katherine Tai urging her to make negotiating a new SLA a top priority.
As of this month, ABMA is closing out its first year of federal advocacy and it has been a busy one. We have conducted 8 grassroots campaigns since last September and sent more than 1,400 messages to about 130 members of Congress. We have also had meetings with multiple regulatory agencies and legislative offices. For a full recap of our first year, be sure to check out the September issue of NRLA’s Lumber Cooperator.
For the last weeks of summer and into the fall, ABMA members continue to host their federal legislators at their yards for a Yard Tour. If you are interested in hosting your federal representatives, please contact the Legislative and Regulatory Coordinator Julianna Rauf at firstname.lastname@example.org.