ASA President, Joe Poehling (left) met with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) to discuss the Senator introducing a Senate companion bill to H.R. 1908, the WATER ACT introduced April 2 in the House.  

ASA members visited 42 Senate and House offices during the recent Legislative Fly-In to Washington D.C., and pushed the association’s position on the Employee Free Choice Act, Inheritance Tax Repeal and ASA’s WATER ACT with Senators and Representatives.

During the 18 senate appointments, ASA attendees were encouraged to hear thatThe Employee Free Choice Act (commonly referred to as Card Check) most likely will not come up for a vote in its present form. Most of the Senators expressed opposition to the elimination of the secret ballot in the Card Check bill before Congress. “Our members did a good job of explaining the difficulty with the current legislation and how it would impact their businesses,” said ASA Executive Vice PresidentMike Adelizzi. “We will need to be diligent in keeping the pressure on so another version doesn’t sneak in. With the ASA Convention being held in Washington later in the fall and hundreds of our members going to The Hill, I’m encouraged that we can keep this bottled up,” said Adelizzi.

(from left to right) Dave Poteet (M. Cooper Supply), Stan Dreyfuss (SG Supply), Representative Deborah Halvorson (D-IL,11th), and Dennis Goode, M. Cooper Supply.

In addition to pressing for the defeat of Card Check, members educated their Congressional and Senate representatives on the new ASA-backed water bill, which could have a strong, favorable impact on our industry and on conserving water resources.  On April 2, Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced H.R. 1908, the Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or WATER ACT for short). H.R. 1908 will provide a 30% tax credit (up to $1,500) to those consumers that purchase high efficiency water conserving fixtures such as toilets and faucets. The bill was patterned after the Energy Star Tax Credit which has shown some benefit to the HVAC side of the industry. The bill also has bi-partisan support, and every Congressman and Senator that was talked to during the Legislative Fly-In was in support of the bill. This is the first time that the association has been instrumental in introducing legislation.

Dave Poteet, (M. Cooper Supply),  ASA Chairman Jeff New, (Mid-City Supply), Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Rex Martin (NIBCO) discussed Card Check and the WATER ACT.          

This bill will not only stimulate sales of water-conserving fixtures, but it will provide a very strong social benefit by saving millions of gallons of fresh water every year. According to the EPA, by just switching to WaterSense faucets and toilets, a family of four can save over 17,000 gallons of water each year. By conserving water resources, local communities will experience a dramatic decline in the demand for new water treatment facilities. Additionally, it will offer some relief for the demand for more water reservoirs that place tremendous burdens on tax payers and water districts, and families will benefit from reduced water and sewer bills. 

Bob Kahmer (right) of Northeastern Supply met with Representative C.A. Ruppersberger  (D-MD, 2nd) to discuss the WATER ACT and other ASA issues during the Fly-In.

“Our issues received a real shot in the arm with just a handful of ASA members participating in the Fly-In and meeting with their elected representatives. I am excited to see the impact that hundreds of our members taking to The Hill will have during the ASA Convention in Washington this October,” concluded Adelizzi.