Lodging industry, union plead case for aid
With Daniel Lippman
FIRST IN PI — HOTELS, WORKERS PLEAD FOR RELIEF FROM THE HILL: The hotel industry is ramping up its entreaties for relief from Congress, sending a letter this afternoon to the so-called Big Four leaders — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — asking lawmakers to offer the same kind of targeted lifelines it handed to industries like venues, restaurants and airlines.
— “While the vaccination efforts have been far ahead of expectations, there remains a long road to recovery before leisure guests, business travelers, and events return to our hotels,” D. Taylor, international president of the union UNITE HERE!, and Chip Rogers, president and chief executive of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, wrote in a joint letter to congressional leaders asking them to take up the Save Hotel Jobs Act.
— While some leisure travel has begun to rebound, the continued pause on most business travel, upon which many hotels rely, means that “we’re going to have major hotels, huge hotels, in urban markets that are going to continue to teeter on the edge of collapse” without assistance, Brian Crawford, AHLA’s top lobbyist, told PI.
— He acknowledged the effort could “certainly … face some headwinds” thanks to the rate of vaccinations, swaths of the country opening up again and Congress’ packed legislative agenda. But Crawford said AHLA and UNITE HERE! want to gin up support so the legislation, which is modeled after the airline industry’s payroll support program, is ready to be tacked on to any other bills moving ahead of lawmakers’ August recess. Congress, he added, has shown a willingness to offer targeted relief to other industries, and “we certainly think that we have a strong case to be included.”
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RICCIO HEADS TO MICHAEL BEST: Andrea Riccio, who was most recently a vice president at S-3 Group, is departing the firm to join her former boss Steve Israel at Michael Best Strategies, the lobbying shop he co-chairs alongside former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. Unlike Israel, who previously chaired the DCCC, and Priebus, Riccio told PI she will register to lobby, with a focus on issues in front of Democratic leadership.
EXECS CONFIDENT BIDEN’S PLANS TO TAX THE RICH WILL FAIL: “Corporate executives and lobbyists in Washington, New York and around the country say they are confident they can kill almost all of” President Joe Biden’s plans to tax the wealthy “by pressuring moderate Democrats in the House and Senate,” POLITICO’s Ben White reports. “And they think progressive Democrats don’t really care about the costs of new programs and will be happy to push through as much spending as they can and then run on tax hikes in 2022 rather than actually pass them this year.”
— Neil Bradley, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top lobbyist, tells Ben that “with business-minded and more centrist members on the Democratic side in both the House and Senate, they look at the scope and breadth of these tax increases for the infrastructure and families plans and they just find them jaw-dropping.”
— “You are talking about tax hikes that could hit millions of small businesses across the country and taxes that could kill investment. From a raw political perspective, it would be a really funky decision for these moderates to say they would be willing to put this much of a wet blanket on an economy that is really poised to take off,” he continued.
THE DEMS THAT DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY: Via POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris: “Poll after poll shows those proposals are broadly popular with voters, particularly amid a deadly pandemic that’s exacerbated the nation’s already stark economic divisions. While Democrats acknowledge that touting a tax hike — even if it’s just for top earners — carries risk, they see a dramatic shift in the politics of taxing the rich that they’re ready to use to their benefit.”
— “The public has ‘seen billionaires get richer, corporations get richer during the pandemic, while they’re suffering,’ said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. ‘So I think that’s what we have to continue to lean into.’”
FLYING IN: The American Land Title Association, which represents the land title insurance industry, is set to host a record number of participants in its fly-in this week. The trade group’s members have virtual meetings on the books with with Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and members of the Senate Banking and Judiciary Committees and House Financial Services and Banking Committees. ALTA members will also hear from Crossroads Strategies’ John Breaux and Trent Lott and White House Director of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond.
— The American Society of Anesthesiologists is also holding its virtual fly-in this week, meeting with lawmakers to discuss pending Medicare payment cuts and implementation of “surprise” medical billing legislation, and to stress “the importance of safe, physician-led anesthesia care,” the group said.
DCI STARTS STATE AND LOCAL PRACTICE: DCI Group is launching a new state and local practice group, to be helmed by Chris Myers and Chad Horrell. States are often “the first to take on meaningful regulation and legislation, so it’s critical that interested stakeholders have a seat at the table to inform the legislative and regulatory process in state capitals where this work is being done,” Myers said in a statement.
OIL INDUSTRY WARY OF CYBER CRACKDOWN AFTER COLONIAL ATTACK: With members of Congress “in bipartisan agreement that the federal government needs to take a closer look at how prepared the oil and gas industry is to defend itself from another major cyberattack … the industry says it can handle cybersecurity on its own,” POLITICO’s Ben Lefebvre reports.
— “The American Petroleum Institute, the trade association representing many of the largest oil companies in the country, expressed its thanks to the Biden administration for its ‘responsiveness in both providing fuel and transportation waivers that helped ensure fuels continued to reach communities impacted by the outage.’ But ‘any discussion of regulation is premature until we have a full understanding of the details surrounding the Colonial attack,’ said Suzanne Lemieux, API manager of operations security and emergency response, in a separate statement.”
HOLTZMAN VOGEL ADDS (BA)RAN’S NAME TO FIRM: The law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky has formally changed its name to Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky Josefiak. The move is meant to reflect the “significant contributions” veteran campaign finance attorney Jan Baran has made to the firm since coming out of retirement to join in January, the firm said today.
SHEDDING NORMS OR PLAYING THE LONG GAME?: The Chamber of Progress, a new lobbying group whose corporate “partners” include Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Uber and Lyft, “is advocating for a higher corporate tax rate, which President Joe Biden recently proposed hiking to 28% from 21%,” Bloomberg Tax’s Lydia O’Neal and David Hood write. This is “generally an easy stance for them to take, corporate tax professionals say.”
— “While these companies may publicly back a corporate rate hike, they will likely combat other White House corporate tax proposals on the back end, tax professionals say. Those proposals include a tax on the income reported on financial statements, a minimum tax on global income, and changes to the 2017 tax law’s international regime that eliminate the carrots and sharpen the sticks.”
— Anna Abram has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a senior adviser in its public law and policy practice, and will be registering to lobby. She was most recently deputy FDA commissioner for policy, legislation and international affairs and is a Senate HELP alum.
— Kathryn Sorenson will be political director for NewDem Action Fund, the political arm of the House New Democrat Coalition. She was previously chief of staff for Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and ran her 2018 campaign. Jon Boughtin, who previously held the political director position, has been promoted to executive director.
— Lisa Hershman has joined the board of directors of satellite company Echostar, where she will chair the compensation committee. She most recently was the chief management officer at DoD.
— Kyle Gerron has joined the Council for a Strong America as the associate director of federal policy. He was most recently vice president at DDC Public Affairs.
— Nick Loris is joining the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions as vice president of public policy, Morning Energy reports. Loris previously worked on energy and environmental policy issues at the Heritage Foundation.
— Lauren Smith is now head of federal regulatory engagement at Cruise, Playbook reports. She previously was senior manager at Lyft, and is an Obama White House alum.
Emmer Hill Committee (Emmer for Arkansas, Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.))
American Revival Political Action Committee (Super PAC)
GO KART MOZART (Super PAC)
RSLC PAC (Super PAC)
Save Our Republic (PAC)
1607 Strategies, LLC: Navient
1607 Strategies, LLC: Sargent & Greenleaf, Inc.
Ajw, Inc.: Breakthrough Energy, LLC
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld: Freepoint Commodities LLC
Ballard Partners: Freedom For All Americans
Ballard Partners: Sas Institute Inc.
Blank Rome Government Relations: Via Metropolitan Transit
Boundary Stone Partners: May Mobility
Boundary Stone Partners: Proterra, Inc.
Breakthrough Energy, LLC: Breakthrough Energy, LLC
Dillon Mcgregor: Tiger Hill Partners On Behalf Of Iex Group
Federal Hall Policy Advisors, LLC: Invictus Global Management
Federal Hall Policy Advisors, LLC: Webbank
Federal Hall Policy Advisors, LLC: Westcor Land Title Insurance Company
Fierce Government Relations: Mufg Americas Holdings Corporation
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.: Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.
Human Rights For Kids: Human Rights For Kids
James Dold: The Campaign For The Fair Sentencing Of Youth
Klein/Johnson Group: P2P Alliance
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Advamed: Advanced Medical Technology Association
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: American Medical Group Assoc. (Amga)
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: National Council On Civil Advocacy
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Northern Trust
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Secure Democracy
Monument Advocacy: Chobani, LLC
North American Rescue, LLC: North American Rescue, LLC
Prism Group: Independent Restaurant Coalition
Sims Strategies, LLC: Creighton University
Sims Strategies, LLC: Envista Holdings Corporation
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP Dba Taft Advisors LLC Fka (Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP): Alion Science And Technology
The Nickles Group, LLC: Axon Enterprise, Inc.
The Nickles Group, LLC: Florida Hospital Association
Velocity Government Relations, LLC: Questar Concepts, LLC
Venable LLP: Modern Nitrile, LLC
Venn Strategies: American Society Of Health System Pharmacists
Venn Strategies: Partnership For Part D Access
Venn Strategies: Ucb, Inc.
Virgin Orbit, LLC And Subsidiaries: Virgin Orbit, LLC And Subsidiaries
Atolletc LLC: Atolletc LLC
Atolletc LLC: Government Blockchain Assocation – Springfield
Atolletc LLC: Intelli-Network Corporation