More than 90 newly elected officials came to Washington last year to serve in the United States Congress. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) arrived with a keen understanding of how important the automotive specialty-equipment industry is to her home state of Indiana. Before her election, SEMA met several times with Walorski to reinforce the connection between Indiana’s racing heritage and SEMA’s legislative priorities. Having represented a region known for its automotive and recreational vehicle manufacturing in the Indiana state legislature for five years, she was already a strong advocate for SEMA-member companies and knowledgeable about the issues facing the specialty aftermarket industry.
From The Hill
SEMA Member JR Products Hosts Empire State Congressman
Members of Congress stand for re-election every two years, which often leads to quick turnover among the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In upstate New York near Buffalo, voters recently elected a new legislator with a career in small-business growth and development. Given this background, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was thrilled to visit JR Products and showed interest in learning how SEMA-member companies contribute to the local economy.
Rep. Collins was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 to represent New York’s 27th Congressional District. From 2008–2012, Rep. Collins served as Erie County Executive, having spent the previous 34 years as a business owner and entrepreneur. A mechanical engineer by training, Collins began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric. He was subsequently the president and CEO of Nuttall Gear Corp. in Niagara Falls, New York, a company that specializes in power transmissions for heavy-duty machinery.
SEMA Government Affairs Successes Are Driven by Member Participation
We have expressed disappointment through this column over the years with the continued political gridlock in Washington. Partisan stalemate has created an adversarial climate on Capitol Hill for nearly every major legislative issue, from health care to entitlement reforms and everything in between. Both parties share the blame for a situation that renders it difficult for politicians to collaborate.
However, there have been a few recent signs of bipartisan cooperation in Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee, responsible for all tax legislation in Congress, has convened bipartisan working groups to begin reviewing the tax code. The groups have gathered input from lawmakers, companies, trade associations and other stakeholders to offer recommendations...
Year-Long Celebration to Focus on Increased Member Involvement
This year marks the 10th anniversary of SEMA’s Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC). To commemorate 10 years of protecting the industry in Washington, D.C., SEMA PAC will be unveiling exciting new initiatives. To take full advantage of what SEMA PAC has planned, you must first become “SEMA PAC Approved.” To get started, simply complete the form on the next page. It takes less than a minute to fill out and allows the PAC to share information on how SEMA is working for you in the nation’s capital. You can easily become “PAC Approved” online. Remember, completing the form does not obligate you to contribute to SEMA PAC.
Here Are Things SEMA Members Need to Know
Although it was enacted into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act may continue to be bewildering for many SEMA members. The following article is intended to provide clarity on how the law applies to member companies and their workers and identify threshold issues to consider when speaking with an insurance professional.
SEMA-Member Guide to the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare) is one of the most complex and sweeping laws enacted since the Great Depression. Signed into law in March 2010, the law is being phased in over many years. The cornerstone of the law takes effect January 1, 2014, when individuals are required to have health insurance either through their employer or on their own.
Earlier this year, more than 50,000 off-highway vehicle enthusiasts gathered at the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area in California for the seventh annual King of the Hammers. The event, known as the ultimate desert race, has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights to more than 150 competing teams. Johnson Valley is the largest OHV area in the United States and draws at least 200,000 visitors annually while generating at least $260 million each year for the national economy. During the King of the Hammers event, racers take advantage of the area’s unique geography to race “Ultra 4” vehicles on a dry lakebed at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour and rock crawl through challenging boulder fields. This year, Congressman Paul Cook (R-CA) attended this important event in his home district and addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the drivers’ meeting.
Colorado’s Bestop Shares Success of Congressional District Site Visit Program
Summer is a great time to be outdoors in Colorado and, given the favorable conditions, it’s also a great time to be out on the trail. Therefore, it was no surprise when Bestop Inc., a leading supplier of off-road truck and Jeep accessories that provide access to the backcountry, welcomed Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) to its headquarters last July in Broomfield, Colorado. The event included a tour of Bestop’s production and distribution facilities and a detailed briefing session. Rep. Polis also addressed and took questions from Bestop’s employees.
New Year Offers New Opportunities to Support Pro-Industry Lawmakers
The year 2012 was an exciting and successful one for the SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC). A majority of the candidates SEMA PAC supported in the 2012 election won their contests, helping to expand SEMA’s working relationships with pro-business, pro-industry members of Congress. SEMA PAC’s support helped secure these successes. In 2013, SEMA PAC can grow stronger than ever in its 10-year history.
A Fresh Start in Washington?
Before last year’s election, we predicted that the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate would remain divided along party lines. The election results proved that prognosis to be correct. President Obama was reelected; Republicans continue to control the House and Democrats control the Senate. With the election behind us, we can now more fully explore the ramifications of continued divided government.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier Supports SEMA Mustang Build During Visit to 2012 SEMA Show
U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) took time from her busy election-year schedule to speak at the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) breakfast and tour the 2012 SEMA Show. Rep. Speier was elected to Congress in 2008 and represents most of San Mateo County, including a portion of San Francisco. She previously served in both the California State Assembly and Senate.