WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a split House and Senate no longer stalling the passage of legislation, the National Retail Federation today called on President Obama to seize the “opportunity for real progress” when he delivers his State of the Union address next week.
“As you prepare to deliver your State of the Union address, a number of key priorities for the retail industry – and, in turn, our nation’s economy – are waiting to be resolved in Washington,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a letter to the White House. “Unfortunately, these are all issues that were on the agenda a year ago, and the year before that. The issues haven’t changed. But one thing has – the opportunity to do something about them.”
“November’s elections ended the partisan split that left Congress in gridlock for far too long, and we think the results will create an opportunity for real progress,” Shay said. “As a second-term President, there are still accomplishments to be secured that would strengthen your legacy and benefit the country heading into the 2016 elections. We encourage you and the leadership of both parties in both chambers of Congress to set aside partisan differences and seize this unique opportunity to finally act on a number of long-stalled bills that would boost the economy and jobs for the benefit of the American people.”
Shay urged Obama to use the State of the Union to seek action on a number of issues, including comprehensive tax reform, easing restrictions on international trade, immigration reform, cybersecurity, transportation infrastructure and amending the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide health insurance to “full-time” so it would apply to those working 40 hours a week rather than 30. He cited legislation on Internet sales tax collection, which passed the Senate but not the House in the last session of Congress, and patent litigation reform, which passed the House but not the Senate, as examples of issues that could now have a fresh start.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com