In July, ESCA held its 2012 Federal Policy Conference. Over 100 ESCA member company representatives from across the country came to Washington, D.C. to participate in the conference and to lobby their Members of Congress.
When ESCA members arrived in Washington, D.C. on July 26, 99 bipartisan Members of Congress had signed on as cosponsors of the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act (H.R. 1244 in the House, and S. 1512 in the Senate). Before the ESCA attendees set foot on Capitol Hill they had received their 100th cosponsor Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI). At this writing, 105 Democrats and Republicans have cosponsored the bill, affirming their support for expanding the S ESOP structure to more employee owners. Among the signatories are a quarter of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and 20 percent of the Senate counterpart, the Finance Committee.
During their visit, employee owners visited with Members of Congress and congressional staff to ask for their support for S ESOPs and share the findings of an important new study by Alex Brill, who previously was a top advisor to the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission and currently is the CEO of Matrix Global Advisors, an economic policy consulting firm. The Brill study found that S ESOPs are extraordinary job-creators: while private industry held jobs flat in the decade 2001-2011, S ESOPs grew jobs an astonishing 60 percent. Sharing this new data gave ESCA members a great opportunity to explain to Congressional offices what an important value S ESOPs are to the nation’s economy!
As a direct result of the more than 125 Congressional office visits that were orchestrated in this biggest-ever ESCA lobby day, these Members of Congress have already added their names to the co-sponsors of H.R. 1244 and S. 1512: Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) a new Ways & Means Committee member, Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL).
It is great to see support for the S ESOP structure continue to grow within Congress. Thank you to all the Members of Congress who took time to meet with us during our 2012 Federal Policy Conference Lobby day, and to the nearly 100 employee owners who came to Washington to protect the S ESOP structure.