A majority of the House supports full repeal of the HIT as H.R. 928 has 235 cosponsors. The legislation enjoys strong support in the Senate as well with 39 cosponsors. Although the HIT has been suspended for 2017, NLBMDA is a member of the Stop the Hit Coalition and continues to push for full repeal.
Perhaps the timeliest issue for lumber dealers is the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Overtime Rule. The rule is expected to be finalized in May and would dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay.
The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (H.R. 4773, S. 2707) would block a change in the Overtime Rule from taking effect pending further analysis from DOL. In addition, the bill promotes stakeholder input by requiring the comment period for any future proposed rule to be at least 120 days, and eases transition of future changes for employers and employees by requiring the effective date of any future rule to be at least one year after the rule’s publication.
Dealers were able to gain traction on the issue and several lawmakers in the House and Senate signed on to the legislation as cosponsors because of their conversations with NLBMDA members.
NLBMDA continues its push for legal reform and the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act (H.R. 1199), which would limit the instances where lumber dealers, as well as other retailers and distributors, are subject to product liability. According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, small businesses bear 81% of business tort liability costs.
The push continues for companion legislation in the Senate and thanks to meetings with lawmakers there appears to be renewed interest in introducing the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act in the upper chamber, which would be a first for the bill.
After a full day of congressional visits on Capitol Hill, a reception was held in the House Agriculture Committee Hearing Room. The weather was beautiful and allowed attendees to relax outside on the Hearing Room balcony taking in the view of the Capitol. Several lawmakers stopped by the reception including Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Jody Hice (R-GA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA).
NLBMDA thanks all its members who helped make the event a success and advance issues of importance to the lumber and building material industry.