On Dec. 5, Chuck Rowe, president of Indmar Marine Engines, Jim Currie, legislative director for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and John McKnight, vice president of NMMA’s government relations office, met with Speaker of the House of U.S. Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to discuss the potential impact of the fiscal cliff on small businesses across the United States. The “fiscal cliff” is a year-end series of tax hikes and spending cuts that would take $500 billion out of the economy next year and Congress is currently entrenched in budget negotiations.
During the meeting, the Speaker and others listened as Rowe expressed concern that the individuals negotiating to avoid the fiscal cliff were not paying enough attention to small business. He suggested that press accounts indicated great attention to the needs of large corporations, but that small businesses are different. Speaker Boehner and other members of the Republican leadership team seemed interested in Rowe’s point of view and said that his remarks reflected one of the reasons why they had invited him to be a part of the day’s activities.
The meeting was just one in a series of conversations that NMMA’s federal lobbyists have had with both Republicans and Democrats alike, sharing concerns about how marine businesses will be impacted by the fiscal cliff and potential balanced solutions. Last month, NMMA was also represented at a White House briefing on the fiscal cliff focused on how budget changes will affect businesses, providing a forum for discourse on the need for a balanced plan. The briefing was part of a White House initiative to directly connect with the business community. As part of these discussions, Business Forward generated a side-by-side comparison of the Simpson-Bowles budget, the president’s budget and the Ryan Republican Budget.
Press reports noted that the speaker insists President Obama must now take the next step to reopen negotiations with Congress over the “fiscal cliff.” Speaking with reporters after their weekly caucus meeting, Boehner and other Republican leaders said that since President Obama dismissed the deficit reduction plan that Boehner offered earlier this week, it is the president’s turn to present a new alternative. In a separate, closed meeting it was reported that the speaker noted, “We’re ready to talk with the president immediately about a plan that can pass this chamber. We’re ready any time he is.”
NMMA is committed to a bipartisan, balanced solution to the fiscal cliff and urges Congress to take steps that will protect small business interests, particularly those of the recreational boating industry. For questions please contact Jim Currie at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202 737 9760.