The President’s State of the Union address last night touched on a few issues that are important to the association community, and previewed some of the issues the association community will face in the 112th Congress.

  • During his discussion of health care reform, the president expressed support for the bipartisan effort to repeal the small business reporting requirement. This is a reference to the new 1099 reporting requirement which was enacted as part of the health care bill last year. ASAE has made 1099 repeal one of the centerpiece issues of its upcoming fly-in, American Associations Day.
  • President Obama, within the context of tax reform, pledged to get rid of the loopholes that exist in the tax code and simplify filings.  ASAE is concerned that “loopholes” would include many of the tax-exemptions that nonprofits may have to fund their essential tax-exempt activities, such as meeting costs and dues. Removing these exemptions, as some states have considered, would financially hinder many nonprofits during this tenuous economic recovery.
  • The president proposed a spending freeze of domestic spending for the next five years. When the government is unable to provide more services, associations step into the void and provide standards, training, economic development, and social progress through their members and variety of nonprofit activity. Government and society will need a robust association community over the next five years to fill the void left by the federal government.
  • The president defended his administration’s proposal to list meetings with lobbyists on agency websites during the TARP funding debate, and proposed Congress should also list all meetings with lobbyists online.  ASAE opposes singling out one professional class because they register with the federal government and supports the right of associations to lobby on behalf of their members, who can provide valuable information and experience in many policy debates.