Dear Industry Colleagues,

As president of ASA, I have had the privilege of witnessing a “new beginning” within the realm of our Association’s advocacy efforts throughout the first half of 2011. At the end of 2010, in conjunction with the Association’s ongoing commitment as the “unified voice” of the PHCP and PVF industry, ASA’s Executive Committee made the decision to bring on full-time Director of Government Affairs Dan Hilton. By maintaining an ongoing presence in Washington, D.C., ASA has allowed itself the opportunity to become much more integrated in daily Capitol Hill activities specifically affecting our industry. Dan has kept ASA’s members informed by keeping his “finger on the pulse,” and maintaining consistent activity in frequent coalition and committee meetings. As a result, ASA has been more proactive when it comes to issues and action.

What are the issues? ASA’s 2011 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda is focused on specific items such as the strong opposition of LIFO repeal and tax mandates on government contracts, prevention of the ever-growing problem of copper theft, and legislation supporting the creation of federally regulated small business health plans (SBHPs). In addition, ASA supports and promotes policies which conserve our nation’s natural resources and protect our environment, such as the EPA’s WaterSense Partnership. ASA also supports federal policies which allow employers and employees to work together. Along with several trade associations, ASA opposes harmful “Card Check” legislation which would effectively eliminate workers’ ability to make the important decision over union recognition in the privacy of a voting booth.  ASA also opposes the Family Medical Leave Act, which is legislation that would require employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave annually for full-time workers. These are just a few examples of the many issues ASA becomes involved with on a regular basis.

What about action? There are many ways to be proactive regarding the various issues surrounding our industry. In addition to becoming involved personally or on the committee level, you can also let your voice be heard directly on “the Hill.” ASA recently conducted its annual Legislative Fly-In, held May 3-4 in Washington, D.C. More than 30 ASA members attended the event, which included several opportunities to network, educate and be informed. ASA members had the unique opportunity to meet personally with members of Congress who sit on influential committees such asWays and Means, which is charged with overseeing changes in our tax code, andEnergy and Commerce, which oversees virtually all facets of American industry and those who regulate it. The issues that I mentioned above were discussed with members of Congress, as well as feelings and opinions on the upcoming “Debt Ceiling” vote, the new healthcare law and much more. Wrapping up the Legislative Fly-In was a meeting of ASA’s Government and Public Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Dennis Goode. Please see Dan Hilton’s article on the Legislative Fly-In in theASA Newssection for more details on the event.

If the past six months have been any indicator, we have definitely set a strong pace for ASA advocacy as far as what we will see throughout the rest of the year. With our “finger on the pulse” and that vigorous level of activity happening in Washington, NOW is the time for YOU to get involved if you haven’t already.

Please feel free to contact Dan Hilton at 703.328.5234 or atdhilton@asa.netfor more information on ASA’s Government and Public Affairs Committee, issue updates and other advocacy happenings. Thank you for your involvement!

Bill Kenny
Kenny Pipe & Supply