There's never been a more important year than 2019 to come to Washington for the Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting. That may seem like a dramatic sentence, given all that franchising has been through in the past six years on the regulatory front. However, one need not look any further than the macro political conversation taking place in the national political discourse about the role of capitalism to understand why now is the time to invest in protecting your business and building relationships with sitting members of Congress. After all, these policymakers, particularly the dozens of relatively moderate members of the Democratic majority, will set the agenda for what policies can actually be implemented in Congress should a Democrat replace President Trump in the White House in 2021.
It's not too far-fetched to imagine a scenario in 2021 whereby Democrats control the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. That would set up a scenario where issues that can pass the House today, but are DOA in the Senate, are on the table for being signed into law. Whether it's a $15/hour national minimum wage, eliminating private insurance, the Green New Deal, or countless other progressive priorities, these issues will undoubtedly be a part of the Democratic presidential platform regardless of who the ultimate nominee is in Milwaukee next summer. They would surely be part of a "First 100 Days" strategy should the aforementioned scenario play itself out at the ballot box.
One such component of this agenda would assuredly be the PRO Act, an amalgamation of nearly every single labor regulation IFA opposed during the Obama administration. These include an expansion of the joint employer standard, the elimination of state right-to-work laws and the persuader rule, a codification of the problematic Dynamex test adopted in California for determining independent contractor status, and last but not least, card check, also known as eliminating the right to a private ballot in a union organizing election. The PRO Act already has more than 180 co-sponsors in the House and 40 in the Senate. Which gets us back to why this year is the most important year to come to DC to lobby with IFA and protect your business now.
If House Democrats cannot get enough co-sponsors this Congress to bring the PRO Act to the floor for a vote this year, it almost guarantees the issue would be eliminated or significantly altered in order to bring it to the...