top of page
  • Writer's pictureAIM Team

Voice of Mo Business heard in Washington, DC

By Ray McCarty, president/CEO, Associated Industries of Missouri

June 30, 2023 - Representatives of the Board of Directors of Associated Industries of Missouri, the Voice of Missouri Business, visited our Missouri congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. last week. John Frederick, Boeing; Gail Hinshaw, The Mountain Complex; Rod Reid, Shepherd Hills Factory Outlets; and AIM staff Candice Allen joined me for the meetings.

We met with newly-elected Senator Eric Schmitt and Congressman Eric Burlison, as well as veteran Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and Congresswoman Ann Wagner, and staff from the other congressional delegation offices.

Among the issues we discussed were the use of guidance documents issued by federal agencies instead of properly promulgated regulations or legislation. AIM believes such guidance documents may serve a purpose of "filling in the blanks" of statutes and regulations, but guidance documents should never be used in a punitive manner. We pointed out the process of promulgating regulations invites public comment and constituents may weigh in on legislation in hearings and through letters to their elected representatives. But guidance documents are nothing more than memoranda issued by bureaucrats. While they may express the position of the executive agency, they should never be allowed to modify or conflict with existing regulations or statutes, nor should they be relied upon by state agencies.

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling establishing criteria for determining whether a relationship is that of a contractor or employee - criteria that is different than the statutory criteria used by the Internal Revenue Service, but similar to the criteria in a U.S. Department of Labor proposed rule. Having multiple sets of criteria for determining whether an employer must collect and pay taxes on a person as an employee is not only confusing, it can be dangerous and expensive for employers.

The Missouri Congressional delegation agreed with us on this point. In fact, Congressman Luetkemeyer had previously sponsored legislation to this effect and S. 791, the "Guidance Out Of Darkness (GOOD) Act", co-sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, is currently pending in the U.S. Senate. The bill establishes requirements concerning the posting of agency guidance documents. Specifically, an agency must publish guidance documents online on the dates they are issued, publish all of its guidance documents that are in effect in a single location on a designated website, display a hyperlink on its website that provides access to the guidance documents on such website, and indicate on such website if a guidance document has been rescinded. The bill defines "guidance document" to mean an agency statement of general applicability (other than a rule that has the force and effect of law promulgated in accordance with the notice and comment procedures under section 553 of title 5, United States Code) that does not have the force and effect of law; and is designated by an agency official as setting forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue; or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue. Guidance documents may include memoranda, notices, bulletins, directives, news releases, letters, blog posts, no-action letters, speeches by agency officials, or any combination of these items.

Along these same lines, H.R. 277, the "Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2023", would establish a congressional approval process for "major rules". The bill is co-sponsored by Missouri Congressmen Jason Smith, Mark Alford, Eric Burlison, and Blaine Luetkemeyer. Under the bill, a major rule may only take effect if Congress approves of the rule. A major rule is a rule that has resulted in or is likely to result in (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The bill generally preserves the current congressional review process for a non-major rule.

Rod Reid, who serves as Chairman of the Route 66 Centennial Commission, discussed some of the ideas the Commission is considering for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026 with our congressional delegation.

The group also discussed our recent success in securing funding for the rebuilding and expansion of Interstate 70 and asked our congressional delegation to be watchful for federal fund matching opportunities that would allow Missouri to maximize the value of this investment as we rebuild and expand I-70 to six lanes from border to border.

A proposed expansion of the "perimeter rule" that regulates allowable flights to and from Reagan International Airport (DCA) is opposed by AIM and we discussed how that expansion could lead to reduced direct flights from St. Louis and Kansas City to the Reagan airport.

"We are very pleased with the discussions we had with our congressional delegation and their staff," said Ray McCarty. "We applaud our Missouri delegation members for their strong advocacy of key business issues. We thank them for their service to their constituents and for sharing some of their time with our group."

Here are some pictures from our trip:

bottom of page