A national, united voice for the industry, ASA promotes the best interests of our manufacturer and distributor members on many different levels. One of the most visible and vital to the endurance of the wholesale channel is ASA’s Government and Public Affairs program.

ASA is deeply involved in legislative activity in Washington through committed volunteer leadership and our Washington representatives, Kent & O’Connor. On a daily basis, the interests of our members are promoted through individual meetings and participation on committees and task-forces addressing some of the biggest issues facing our industry.

ASA’s 2007 Government Affairs Agenda was released last month and reflects legislative and regulatory initiatives that impact the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Piping (PHCP) and Industrial PVF industries. The agenda will be updated and revised during the course of 2007.

ASA 2007 Government Affairs Agenda

LIFO REFORM:ASA opposes repeal of the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of accounting for inventory. Repeal will create serious tax liabilities for many ASA wholesalers and manufacturers.

DEPRECIATION ON BUILDINGS: ASA supports federal legislation which provides a statutory 15-year recovery period for qualified retail improvement property, provided such legislation is applicable to supply house showrooms.

PERMANENT REPEAL OF THE DEATH TAX: ASA continues to support permanent repeal of the death tax. Absent action by Congress, the death tax expires in 2010, only to reemerge at the old, higher rates in 2011.

SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH PLANS: ASA supports federal legislative efforts to allow creation of federally regulated small business health plans (SBHPs), also known as association health plans (AHPs). Such plans will make health insurance more affordable by spreading risk among a much larger group.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: ASA supports the effort to ensure the continued right of American workers to freely and secretly choose whether or not to be represented by a labor organization. ASA opposes the “Employee Free Choice Act” (HR 800). This “card check” bill is organized Labor’s top legislative priority.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS: ASA supports legislation (HR 1023), to repeal a sweeping new requirement mandating a 3% tax withholding by federal, state, and local governments from payments to contractors for goods and services.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: ASA supports legislation to adequately finance America’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Congressional Budget Office, and the Government Accountability Office, the projected shortfall in clean water infrastructure investment will approach $500 billion over the next two decades.

LEAD IN PLUMBING PRODUCTS: ASA opposes state and federal initiatives to reduce the lead content in plumbing products to such restrictive levels that manufacturers will not be able to comply. Further, ASA opposes state and federal standards with aggressive deadlines which do not allow for the normal turnover of existing inventories.

ASBESTOS LIABILITY: ASA is dedicated to enactment of congressional legislation ensuring a fair resolution of the asbestos litigation crisis.



You can recommend additions to this agenda by contacting Don Robertson [donr@steam-plumbing.com], Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee, or Pat O’Connor [patoconnor@kentoconnor.com], ASA’s Washington, D.C. Representative.