Editor’s Note: The following is a letter from Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association President Phil Ingrassia offering an overview of Tuesday’s elections and initiatives moving forward.
Tuesday’s election results maintain a political status quo in Washington – with the White House and U.S. Senate controlled by Democrats and the U.S. House of Representatives led by Republicans.
In the short term, Congress and the president have only 49 days to reach consensus on billions of dollars in automatic tax hikes and federal spending cuts set to take effect in January. Congress is scheduled to return to Washington next week to work on the budget and the impending “fiscal cliff” issue.
In the long term, major issues that RVDA and its allies will continue to work on include:
• Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) – The election results mean the continuation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While RV and other motor vehicle dealers are specifically exempt from the bureau’s oversight, RVDA and its allies are deeply concerned that the CFPB will indirectly regulate RV dealer-assisted financing through joint rulemaking with the Federal Trade Commission. RVDA maintains that dealer-arranged financing is vital to the RV business, promotes competition, and provides multiple financing choices for consumers.
• Health Care – The election results mean that the health care overhaul will continue. Key provisions of the law go into effect in 2014, including a requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide affordable health insurance for their workers. What is not clear is how much that insurance will cost. Most states will set up exchanges where individuals and companies can buy coverage. RVDA members will be invited to participate in a free RV Learning Center webinar entitled”Employer Health Care Forecast — What’s Next for Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act” in December. RVDA will have more details on this event soon.
• State Issue – Right to Repair Passes in Massachusetts: Massachusetts Ballot Initiative 1 (Right to Repair) passed with 85% of the vote. The Right to Repair Ballot Initiative requires motor vehicle manufacturers to make diagnostic information on all makes and models of vehicles available to all citizens and independent repair shops. The ballot initiative definition of “motor vehicle” includes all RV types. Earlier this year, RVIA secured an amendment excluding all RVs from a compromise law negotiated by auto manufacturers and independent repair shops. However, the ballot initiative supersedes the enacted legislation. RVDA will work to clarify this issue’s impact on dealers.