What’s Coming in Washington in 2014…
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
WASHINGTON, DC - Stay tuned to PLNA e-News for continuing
coverage of important issues in the coming months of 2014. Here are some of the
federal issues we will be keeping an eye on in 2014.
Immigration Reform - While
there is a small chance that immigration reform may pass Congress in 2014, most
think that the 2015-2016 session of Congress seems to be a better bet. In 2014,
election year politics will most always trump the good intentions of those Republicans
and Democrats who want to see something happen.
Nonetheless, PLNA will continue to work with our
Congressional delegation so that when the political winds blow more favorably,
we’ll have the delegation ready to step up to play their part.
Farm Bill Talks Continue
to Stumble over Food Stamp, Farm Subsidies Issues - The 2013 Farm Bill will
become the 2014 Farm Bill since Congress adjourned for the holidays without agreement
on bill language. The Farm Bill is now 14 months past due. Talks between the
U.S House and Senate stalled over funding levels for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP formerly food stamps) and farm subsidies.
Some in Congress seem optimistic that an agreement can be
reached and bill can be passed in January, after the holiday break. Others are
not so sure, predicting a two year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill.
The farm bill contains major provisions that would
benefit the green industry, particularly funding for research on new invasive
pests. For more information, click here.
Affordable Care Act
Implementation - With the lurching implementation of the Affordable Care Act
(Obamacare), PLNA will be keeping an eye on the potential impacts on small
businesses and trying to make sense of it for our members.
Penalties for businesses and individuals for non-participation
have been postponed and the small business portion of the online marketplace
has been postponed. When these pieces may be put back into effect is anyone’s
guess at this point. 2014 will be a crucial year for the President’s signature