Politics aside, legislative issues have an
enormous impact on our industry.
By Toni McQuilken
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum,
there is no denying that we are currently facing
legislative uncertainty on a wide range of issues. To
get a better idea of what issues printers need to be
aware of, and what they should be doing about it, we sat down
with the NPES vice president, Government Aff airs, Mark J.
Nuzzaco to get his take on the legislative landscape.
Q: What legislation had the most impact on the
print industry in 2016?
Nuzzaco: Election years are problematic for legislative
accomplishments, and 2016 was no exception. However, two
legislative developments of signifi cant importance for the
printing, imaging, and mailing industry did occur in 2016,
though neither resulted in new laws being enacted at the time.
However, they did set the stage for vitally needed legislative
initiatives in the current 115th Congress; to wit, bipartisan,
stakeholder-wide consensus postal reform legislation was
craft ed, and the House Better Way tax reform blueprint
emerged with 100% expensing of capital investment being a
Postal reform that sets the United States Postal Service on
a sound fi nancial footing for the future is directly relevant to
the business interests of printers and mailers—both supporting
the huge market for printing, and the delivery system for
it. Tax reform that includes 100% expensing is important to
the printing, imaging, and mailing industry on at least two
levels. First, it helps both printers and mailers, along with
their suppliers, put more new and effi cient technology into
production. And second, it is proven to be highly eff ective in
stimulating overall economic growth, which grows the need
for more printing and mailing.
Q: What legislation are you watching the closest
Nuzzaco: For the above reasons, postal reform and tax reform
that includes 100% expensing are both top legislative priori-
ties for NPES, its members, and by extension, their customers,
Postal reform was on a fast track when the new 115th
Congress convened in January. To the great credit of former
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee Jason Chaff etz (who resigned from Congress in
June), he and his fellow cosponsors—Ranking Member Elijah
Cummings (D-7-MD), and their OGR Committee colleagues,
Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-11-NC), Gerry Connolly
(D-11-VA), Steve Lynch (D-8-MA), Brenda Lawrence (D-14-MI),
Dennis A. Ross (R-15-FL), Steve Russell (R-5-OK), Tim Ryan
(D-13-OH), and Glen Th ompson (R-5-PA)—introduced H. R.
756 Th e Postal Service Reform Act of 2017—which was nearly
identical to the consensus legislation craft ed in 2016—at the
beginning of the new Congress. A hearing on the legislation
followed quickly in February, and the bill was approved
almost unanimously by the OGR Committee in March. It
was advancing remarkably fast, and seemed to be a shining
example of bipartisan collaboration in an otherwise highly
partisan and fractured Congress. But then the legislation hit a
major speed bump when its champion, former Congressman
Chaff etz, announced his departure from Congress. Since then,
H.R. 756 has lacked an offi cial champion, though it still enjoys
the support of its co-sponsors and consensus stakeholders.
Th e current challenge is to engage active leadership for the
legislation from new OGR Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-4-SC),
and to enlist the support of Ways and Means Chairman Kevin
Brady (R-8-TX). Th e former to lead the eff ort at the committee
chairman level as Chaff etz had been doing, and the latter
to shepherd the bill through the changes needed to fully
PrintingNewscom October 2017 Printing News 17