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Action on Infrastructure legislation is needed!

AED is the voice of the equipment distribution industry in D.C., and your membership and participation make that possible.

AED is the only association advocating for the interests of equipment distributors. These interests include burdensome regulations, federal solutions to the technical workforce shortage and other pressing issues that affect your business. AED’s influence in D.C. has grown exponentially over the past few years. This influence has resulted in major legislative wins for the equipment distribution industry. With your support, the industry became exempt from early measures in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that would have prevented construction equipment dealers from using the 100 percent depreciation provision for new and used equipment. AED successfully lobbied to modify the Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service Rules in the U.S.

For those who are reading this and asking, “What have you done for me lately?” I would point to the increase in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), following the depletion of the first round of funding. With these behind us, the new focus right now is ensuring that an investment is made in our nation’s infrastructure to help get the American economy on the road to prosperity. However, these goals cannot be met without your help.

During the early stages of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the House Ways and Means Committee adopted an amendment, without debate, that would have allowed dealers of all sorts to deduct a greater amount of business interest. However, under this proposal, construction dealers would have been unable to utilize the legislation’s 100 percent bonus depreciation provision.

I have said here before that our voice is only as strong as our members’ engagement in the process.
During the negotiations, a small group of AED members worked with our team to leverage their relationships with members of the United States House and Senate with the goal of exempting our industry from these provisions. With the help of our members, construction equipment dealers are able to take advantage of the law’s full benefits, such as 100 percent bonus depreciation for new and used equipment purchases, business interest capped at 30% EBITDA, an increased estate tax exemption, lower corporate and S corp rates, and continued LIFO. Thanks to our members’ grassroots efforts, along with AED’s efforts, the equipment industry is benefiting from a major legislative win.

During what we suspected was the peak of a global health pandemic, AED members were working to ensure our industry’s voice was heard on the FMCSA Hours of Service Rule. The rule, which will be taking effect soon, expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as a part of the exception. The rule increases the driving window during adverse driving conditions.

Hours of service is an issue that many of you face as you send employees to job sites to ensure that your customers’ equipment is up and running. The input you provided to AED allowed us to make certain that your voice was heard. This is just another example of your engagement with our government affairs program resulting in favorable actions that benefit your business’s profitability.

Several of you took advantage of the federal government’s response to the current economic downturn by participating in the PPP loan program. Our members’ feedback was mixed, with some noting that the funds had been approved, and others who were left to fend for themselves with little guidance from their lenders on what to expect after the funds had dried up. AED worked to compile lists of members who fell into both categories, to provide feedback to the White House and to pressure Congress to act on this vital program.

There is little doubt that our nation’s economy can be described as sluggish, perhaps more accurately defined as a recession. While there is no magic wand that can fix our economy, an investment in the decaying infrastructure throughout our nation would be a great start. AED’s impressive list of legislative accomplishments over the past few years can be partially attributed to our members’ grassroots efforts. Focusing on economic recovery options and a pressing deadline for action, AED has decided to leverage the experts in the equipment distribution industry (you) to guide it in its next legislative win. Over the past month, you should have heard from my colleagues and me asking you to engage the senators in the states where you have business operations. Earlier this year, the House passed a partisan transportation funding bill that was destined for a veto if it were to survive the Senate. The Senate has continued to focus their attention on other priorities, leaving the likelihood of an infrastructure package in jeopardy. We know how vital this issue is for the industry, and we know that our members will be there to help ensure that the Senate members do their job and fund our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The process of reaching out to your senators is easy: AED has created an email template that allows you to fill in the blanks about your company and press send.

Between AED and our other industry partners, the equipment distribution industry’s voice in D.C. is being heard loud and clear and will continue to advocate for changes in federal policy to make your business more profitable. However, the success cannot be attributed just to AED’s team, but also to the support of our members in the legislative process. Now is not the time to let up on the proverbial gas pedal; rather, now is the time to put the pedal to the metal to ensure infrastructure is on every senator’s mind.

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