This month saw the swearing in of a new President and a new Republican controlled 115th Congress. Given the control of all three branches of government, Congress has set an aggressive tone for 2017 with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy scheduling this session for 145 legislative days-including five, five-day work weeks. In comparison, the House was in session for just over 100 days in 2016. Congress will need each and every one of those days in order to work through an ambitious agenda that includes healthcare and tax reform, as well as an infrastructure. NGA will also be closely monitoring attempts to make changes to debit swipe fee reforms, SNAP and WIC regulations, and will be seeking to make changes to the Food and Drug Administration’s menu labeling regulation in order to make it easier for independent supermarket operators to comply with the rule.
NGA is already focusing on what opportunities and challenges the new administration and Congress may bring in 2017. This week, we welcome our Government Relations Committee here to our nation’s capital to help us set our policy agenda for the year. Given the new changes in Congress and the White House, we will have much work to do to educate lawmakers and regulators about the positive impacts the independent supermarket industry has on the economy and local communities.
There are a number of ways to get involved in the political process – reach out to your Member of Congress, and invite them to tour your store to help them better understand the important role grocers play in their communities, or contact your representative’s office to let them know where you stand on critical issues. NGA will assist you with setting up these tours – just give our government relations team a call.
Despite a long list of critical issues impacting the industry, a collective and unified voice from independent grocers will make a significant difference to enact legislation that helps the local grocer remain successful and independent. It’s a privilege and honor for NGA’s government relations team to spend our days (and nights) fighting on behalf of the independent grocer.