On May 21 and 22, NAPEO members met with 40 congressional offices as part of the Legal & Legislative Conference.
Members met with key offices, including the offices of Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the highest ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, Senators Tom Harkin and Mike Enzi, the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), who chairs the House Committee with oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and federal labor law, and senior staff of the House Ways & Means Committee.
NAPEO members met with their Representatives and Senators to discuss the benefits the PEO industry brings to small businesses and their employees. Many Members of Congress and their staffs are unaware of the PEO industry, so these meetings were an opportunity for the industry to tell its story to key policymakers. The key messages delivered to Capitol Hill were that PEOs help small businesses comply with the myriad of federal and state regulations, provide affordable healthcare and retirement benefits for small businesses and their employees, and allow small businesses to focus on growing their companies. NAPEO members also asked their Congressmen and Senators to co-sponsor and support the Small Business Efficiency Act (HR 2466/S. 1908).
The meetings were successful at promoting the image of the PEO industry and in building support for federal legal certainty. The efforts of NAPEO members are the beginning of a process of building long-term relationships with federal officials, and in ensuring they understand the importance of the PEO industry to their constituents.
Thom Stohler is director of federal government affairs for NAPEO, Alexandria, Virginia.