March 2024 Federal Legislative Recap

Link to article Capitol building with text March Legislative Recap
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It took Congress six months into the 2024 fiscal year (FY) but they passed the full budget, not in time to fully avoid a government shutdown, but it was short enough that it only lasted a few hours and didn’t cause any major impacts. You can see the FY2024 funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as a part of the U.S. Treasury’s appropriations.

Now the House and Senate can focus on what is next: FY2025 appropriations funding. Sadly, despite me drafting this recap on April 1, this is not a joke. Funding for the federal government runs out on September 20, 2024. With this being an election year, there are a fair number of days that Congress isn’t in session, so the push starts now. More on this below.


Representatives Darrin LaHood (R-IL) and Steve Horsford (D-NV) introduced the Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers (CHEERS) Act, bipartisan legislation to help restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses that operate draught beer systems. The CHEERS Act would help hospitality businesses by extending accelerated tax benefits for qualifying investments into energy-efficient systems to include keg and tap property, supporting the use of draught lines, and keg equipment at restaurants and bars. In addition to the Brewers Association (BA), the legislation is widely supported across the beer and hospitality industries. The Steel Keg Association, National Restaurant Association, Beer Institute, Independent Restaurant Coalition, National Beer Wholesalers Association, and more, expressed their support for the legislation. View the joint press release for the CHEERS Act.

Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 is still in limbo. Despite strong bipartisan support in the House the legislation had very little movement and a fair amount of opposition in the Senate. At the end of March multiple republican Senators had expressed their opposition to the legislation and are encouraging their colleagues to vote against it if/when it comes to the Senate floor. On March 21, the legislation was placed on the Senate legislative calendar under general orders. It will need to get 60 votes to avoid a filibuster and get a floor vote, something that gets difficult with each passing day. There is still reason to be optimistic, as specific portions of this bill like depreciating research and development (R&D) expenses in the year that they occur, have strong bipartisan support. If that language doesn’t pass in 2024, it will likely pass in 2025. If your brewery uses R&D and benefitted from the depreciation language that has expired, please let me know, as we want to share that information with your elected officials.

Credit Card Competition Act

Sponsors of the Credit Card Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the largest credit card issuing financial institutions in the country to enable the use of at least two unaffiliated credit card networks to process credit card transactions, have continued to advocate for the legislation’s passage in the wake of the Visa and Mastercard settlement with merchants on excessive swipe fees. Senator Durbin (D-IL) said the settlement “solidifies that it is time to pass my bipartisan, bicameral legislation—the Credit Card Competition Act—to enhance competition between credit card networks and ultimately lower costs for small businesses and consumers. We need to bring real competition to the credit card industry. My bill ensures that the Visa-Mastercard duopoly ends their price gouging tactics that disproportionately hurt American families and small businesses.” The recent settlement is one of many outside factors that could impact swipe fees, but there is still a fair amount of uncertainty on how these will impact small businesses. Passing the Credit Card Competition Act would help provide more certainty and clarity to small businesses.

Hoppy Hour on the Hill

The BA, Hop Research Council, and Hop Growers of America hosted their annual Hoppy Hour during the hop growers fly-in. The event featured beer from different regions of the country and attendees were invited to participate in a sensory experience featuring public and private hop varietals. The event capped off a day of advocating for United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS) hop-related funding in the 2025FY budget. Rep. Marylin Strickland (D-WA) will be spearheading “dear colleague” letters on appropriations for hops and barley research.

Don’t forget to sign up for the BA’s 2024 Hill Climb, taking place June 11-12 in Washington, D.C.

Check out the BA’s legislative resource that lets you see what state and federal legislation we are monitoring, and what issues we support and oppose.