April 2024 Federal Legislative Recap

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The Brewers Association (BA) held their annual Craft Brewers Conference® (CBC) in Las Vegas, Nevada in April. Attendees were able to learn more about the association’s state and federal legislative priorities at multiple seminars and from the main stage.


One of the main topics at the conference was the Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers (CHEERS) Act, legislation introduced earlier this year by Representatives Darrin LaHood (R-IL) and Steve Horsford (D-NV). The bipartisan legislation would help hospitality businesses by extending accelerated tax benefits for qualifying investments into energy-efficient systems to include keg and tap property, supporting the use of draught lines, and keg equipment at restaurants and bars. The BA, Steel Keg Association, National Restaurant Association, Beer Institute, Independent Restaurant Coalition, and National Beer Wholesalers Association recently sent a letter to members of the House expressing support for the legislation and encouraging representatives to co-sponsor the bill. To date, the legislation has added four new co-sponsors and continues to build traction in the House.

Credit Card Competition Act

Other issues that were discussed included the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA), bipartisan legislation that would require the largest credit card issuing financial institutions in the country to enable the use of at least two unaffiliated credit card networks to process credit card transactions. Advocacy has continued for the legislation’s passage in the wake of the Visa and Mastercard settlement with merchants on excessive swipe fees. The lead sponsors of the legislation, Senators Richard Durban (D-IL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), have filed the CCCA as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, must pass legislation which expires on May 10. While it is still unclear which amendments will ultimately be considered, if the CCCA gets a vote it will need the support of 60 senators to move forward.

Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

Tax Day (April 15) passed and with it the hopes for passage of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 grew dimmer. Despite strong bipartisan support in the House, the legislation continues to face opposition in the Senate. The legislation was added to the Senate legislative calendar under general orders in March but has not seen movement since then. If it fails to pass in 2024, there is still reason to be optimistic. Specific portions of this bill like depreciating research and development (R&D) expenses in the year that they occur, have strong bipartisan support. If that language doesn’t pass in 2024, it will likely pass in 2025.

The R&D depreciation was a topic of discussion at the voting members meeting at CBC, along with the pass-through deduction set to expire in 2025, which allows taxpayers to exclude up to 20% of their pass-through business income from federal income tax. Both issues are an ongoing priority for the BA.

BA Political Action Committee

The final topic at the conference was the re-introduction of the BA Political Action Committee (PAC). The BA PAC is a transparent, legal, and federally monitored way for trade associations like the BA to pool campaign contributions from members and donate funds that support candidates for federal office who understand and champion the interests of small and independent brewers. Formed in 2019, the BA PAC supports candidates for federal office, regardless of political affiliation, providing special consideration to candidates and elected officials who take steps to educate themselves by meeting with brewers and visiting breweries, and who support the diversity of interests of our members and the greater beer and brewing community. Members can learn more about the BA PAC on our website.

Don’t forget to sign up for the BA’s 2024 Hill Climb, taking place June 11-12 in Washington, D.C. Also, check out the BA’s legislative resource that lets you see what state and federal legislation we are monitoring, and what issues we support and oppose.