Leaders of ASA traveled to their nation’s capital in June to learn, network and advocate for issues important to their businesses and their industry.
As Congress and the Trump administration slog ahead with promises made on the campaign trail, with limited effect, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has passed the House, but appears stalled in the Senate. Senators, as well as the president have openly questioned the House-passed version and vowed to remain at arm’s length from it. ASA’s task was to keep the fire lit in the Senate and not avoid the tough decisions of taking up health-care reform because nobody believes the status quo is working for anyone.
As part of ASA’s efforts in Washington, building support for key legislation was at the top of our list. Members such as Glenn Fuller (Texas Plumbing Supply) went above and beyond, reaching out and touching base with every elected official that may represent his company. It was a strategy that paid off when we learned that Houston-area Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) agreed to co-sponsor the Remote Transactions Parity Act after committing to Fuller that he’d support the bill. “This is our responsibility to come to Washington and educate our elected officials on what matters to us,” Fuller said.
ASA was not the only organization in the homebuilding, repair and maintenance realm that called on their legislators that day. Also in town were members of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contracting Association (PHCC), as well as members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). While each of the groups had their own issues that impact their membership specifically, we all fought for the advancement of skilled craft education and opportunities.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, was a priority for each of the groups. If signed into law, it would improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships and encouraging stronger engagement with employers. In addition, it would enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success. The House passed H.R. 2353 overwhelmingly June 26.
Whether it’s in Washington or at home, all stakeholders have a voice that needs hearing. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option. Speak up and speak out!