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Nat'l Beer Wholesalers Assn. Legislative Session tackles taxes during Washington, D.C. meeting.

Nat'l Beer Wholesalers Assn. Legislative Session tackles taxes during Washington, D.C. meeting

The National Beer Wholesalers Assn. Legislative Session was held May 5-8, in Washington, D.C. in an effort to involve the industry's wholesalers in events taking place and shaping policy on Capitol Hill.

The session began with an eye-opening Monday morning breakfast meeting addressed by Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Republican Whip, U.S. House of Representatives. Gingrich spoke of the failings of our permissive society, the bureaucratic welfare state and the "extraordinarily irresponsible institution" - the congress of the United States. The whole of Washington, Gingrich said, is involved in a conspiracy to raise taxes.

Also speaking at the morning session were: Congressman Beryl Anthony (D-AR), member of Ways and Means Committee, and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL), member of Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Honorable James T. Molloy, Doorkeeper, U.S. House of Representatives.

All of the speakers addressed the issue of excise taxes on alcohol during their talks. The overall gist of the speakers was if general taxes were not increased, excise taxes would be a likely target since Congress now refers to them as "user fees" rather than taxes.

After some coaching by Ron Sarasin, NBWA president, and Jack Lewis, NBWA Legislative Affairs, the wholesalers headed out to meet with the Congressmen and Senators from their states.

Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR), member of Finance, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Joint Taxation Committee, spoke at Monday's dinner.

Attendees of the second day's morning session listened to talks by Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA), member of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, as well as Foreign Relations, Veterans' Affairs Committee, and the Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Steve Symms (R-ID), member of Finance Committee, Environment and Public Works, Budget, and Joint Economic; and a brief appearance by Senator John Warner (R-VA), member of Armed Services Committee, Environment and Public Works, and the Select Committee on Intelligence.

"There will be a peace dividend," Cranston told the audience, "the only questions are how soon and how large". When refering to the peace dividend, Cranston said 5-10 percent should be used to reduce the federal budget deficit and the rest should be spent on education, health care, housing, the environment and the infrastructure. Additionally, the senator noted that excise taxes are regressive and unfair.

Overall, the session was well organized and well attended by NBWA members with over 175 wholesalers attending. Many of the states were represented including a large group from California.

PHOTO : Sen. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), addresses the Monday meeting of the NBWA Legislative session.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 21, 1990
Previous Article:Guinness PLC to sell wine interest.
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