This industry has some mighty busy representation! Both the AMOA and AAMA were back in our nation’s capital on Nov. 28 advocating for its members and the industry on two important issues: the recent (and disappointing) continuation of account closures by some banks and to support tax reform the groups believe to be favorable for small businesses, specifically pass-throughs and S-corps.
A total of 10 members of AMOA and AAMA converged on the Hill right as lawmakers were returning from the holidays. Both AMOA and AAMA report that the group of amusement industry representatives was pleased and encouraged with the continued support offered during several of the meetings. The teams visited with 16 different congressional offices on Tuesday. The meetings were comprised of visits on both the House and Senate side as well as offices of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
During the visits, AMOA and AAMA provided evidence of continued account closures which have taken place over the past six weeks, and asked for assistance in working with federal bank regulators to ensure the Dept. of Justice-guidance ending Operation Choke Point is adhered to, and to make it clear closing down accounts of legitimate cash businesses simply by stating operational risk is unfair and unacceptable.
During the meetings, AAMA also focused on H-2B Visa issues relevant to that side of the industry. The group says even though the current administration increased the number of available H-2B Visas (which regulate unskilled, foreign workers), its efforts to potentially end the temporary protected status for people in the U.S. who’ve lost their homes to disaster and those who are protected by DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Dream Act) would offset the number of available workers and harm the amusement industry.
“Our message was well-received, and based on the conversations conducted Tuesday, we have several congressional offices offering to work with us on a strategy moving forward,” said AMOA’s Lori Schneider.
In addition, AMOA Government Relations chair Emily Dunn was pleased to present an AMOA PAC donation during a coffee with Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (R-MO) Chief of Staff Chad Ramey in recognition of the Congressman’s hard work not only in helping toward putting an end to Operation Choke Point, but his continued efforts as it relates to the regulatory agencies. His recent bill, H.R. 2706, just passed through committee earlier this month and dictates that agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, among others, cannot request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has valid reason.