Paul Blair

Grover Norquist Statement on Utah National Monuments Orders

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, December 4th, 2017, 5:17 PM PERMALINK

At an event in Salt Lake City, President Trump announced a significant scaling back of two national monuments established by President Obama in December of 2016 and President Clinton in 1996. The Bears Ears National Monument was scaled back by 85 percent and Grand-Staircase Escalante by 46 percent, for nearly 2 million acres in total. This important reining in of the designations is a win for public land use and the original intent of the Antiquities Act. 

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist had this to say:

"President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke should be applauded for working to correct past executive overreach by Presidents Obama and Clinton. This is a fight about the use and enjoyment of public lands by the public. The reality is that American outdoorsmen and women have a vested interest in conservation. Compare them to the federal government, which is a frequent abuser of America’s natural beauty, whether it’s polluting the San Juan River in Colorado or extorting the organizers of Burning Man for unnecessary fees in the desert of Nevada.

The Trump and Zinke effort to rein in the abuse of the Antiquities Act is extremely important in the fight against radical special interests and bureaucrats. From Presidents Kennedy to Coolidge, Wilson, and Eisenhower, Presidents have scaled back federal monuments 18 times in the past. This is a great first step in the march towards restoring property and land use rights of the West."


At the time of the Obama designation of Bears Ears, Utah Senator Mike Lee called the move "an arrogant act of a lame duck president," now noting of Trump that he's "grateful that [Trump] is willing to correct it." The two monuments were under review, based on an Executive Order issued by President Trump early this year. 

"No one values the splendor of Utah more than the people of Utah – and no one knows better how to use it. Families will hike and hunt on land they have known for generations, and they will preserve it for generations to come.” said President Trump. “The Antiquities Act does not give the Federal Government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice. Public lands will once again be for public use."

Photo Credit: Secretary Zinke on Twitter

More from Americans for Tax Reform


"Stop Obamacare Taxes" Bus Triggers Colorado Campus

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017, 4:41 PM PERMALINK

On Saturday, September 29th, Americans for Tax Reform kicked off its “Stop Obamacare Taxes Tour” in Las Vegas, with an event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as part of campaign aimed at generating awareness about scheduled future tax hikes including in Obamacare, set to go into effect on January 1. 

In preparation for our second event in Denver, Colorado at WWE Smackdown at the Denver Pepsi Center, staff members arranged accommodations at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown, just minutes from the venue. Upon checking into our hotel on Monday afternoon, we were told to park our StopObamacareTaxes RV in the alley parking lot behind the hotel, which runs parallel to 11th Street between Walnut and Auraria, where we were told the cost to park was $29/ day. 

The RV is wrapped with a graphic which says “Stop ObamaCare Taxes Tour” with a website and information on taxes currently in effect and coming into effect, such as the Obamacare Health Insurance Tax, which hits on January 1 of 2018. 

At 11:30AM today, October 3rd, we were notified by the SpringHill Suites Manager via a warning at the front desk and call to my cell phone that the RV had to be moved because the “college campus does not allow vehicles (including RVs) with ‘political messages’ on them on campus.”

Next to the hotel is the Auraria Higher Education Center, which hosts a Denver campus for the University of Colorado, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver. 

In claiming that the college does not permit political messages on campus, the hotel manager revealed that she was either personally triggered (as we were paying the hotel $29/night to park where they advised us to) OR that the college campuses, publicly funded by taxpayers, oppose political and free speech.

In response to my bringing awareness to this issue, Marriott informed us that this “is not a Marriott policy” and apologized for the “miscommunication.” There was no miscommunication; we were kicked off the property because college students or a SpringHill Suites manager were triggered. 

The RV is currently parked at the Pepsi Center in Denver, in preparation for our second Stop Obamacare Taxes Tour event at WWE Smackdown, where we will ask attendees to send emails to their Congressmen urging a repeal of Obamacare taxes, including the forthcoming health insurance tax. And try as they may to hide from our message, as our t-shirts explain, there is no hiding from Obamacare taxes. 

Photo Credit: Paul Blair

More from Americans for Tax Reform


ATR Supports Section 236 of FY18 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017, 4:41 PM PERMALINK

In the FY18 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act offered by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), guarantees for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would no longer be backed if they were tied to a controversial energy efficiency loan program known as the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Americans for Tax Reform supports this language because residential PACE programs not only put taxpayers at risk but the program fast-tracks alternative energy mandates inherent in energy sources such as solar.

The language can be read here:

SEC. 236. None of the funds made available under this Act for new guarantees of mortgages insured under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund may be used to guarantee or insure any mortgage on a property that is subject to a loan or other obligation, including those billed as taxes or assessments, for the purpose of financing any improvements under a Property Assessed Clean Energy or substantially similar program, if any portion of such loan or obligation is or has the potential to be in a lien position superior to the mortgage to be insured or guaranteed under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.

Residential PACE is a government-backed and managed loan program used by private property owners to finance energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades. In the case of most residential programs, this involves a complicated financing scheme where municipalities create energy assessment districts and local governments issue bonds to loan providers. The loans can be issued by third parties, but are secured by a property tax lien and collected through municipal tax bills, attaching the loans to the property and not the person.

The first PACE program was implemented in Berkeley, California in an effort to address climate change by providing a no-cost up-front option for homeowners to make alternative energy upgrades to their property.

Senator Tom Cotton has called PACE “a scam,” and has offered federal legislation with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) aimed at addressing some of the consumer protection concerns that have arisen as residential PACE loans have grown rapidly in recent years.

PACE loans can be used for a wide range of property upgrades, ranging from HVAC systems to solar panels.  As a federal mandate, PACE loans don’t currently require credit-checks and they make it easier for a property owners to qualify for high interest loans for energy systems that are highly subsidized by taxpayers nationally. Additionally, through solar “net metering” policies and other generous tax credits, many of the upgrades being financed by local governments are those that take advantage of crony capitalism in the energy market. PACE exacerbates the problems inherent in alternative energy systems.

To read ATR’s full primer on PACE financing in the United States, click here.

ATR supports Section 236 of this Act and urges Congress to adopt it for FY18.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Podcast with IWF on Vaping and the Rugulatory Assault its Consumers Face

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, June 19th, 2017, 1:28 PM PERMALINK

In a recent podcast with Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women's Forum, Americans for Tax Reform's Paul Blair discussed the politics and policies surrounding the government's regulatory war against vapor products. What exactly is an electronic cigarette and what is vaping? Topics covered include a conversation about tobacco harm reduction and the role that innovation is playing in the tobacco product space that may help smokers transition to less harmful alternatives. 

Learn more about ATR's work in vapor issues at www.stopvapetaxes.org and feel free to sign up for Paul's monthly newsletter Vapor News and Views

Photo Credit: Vaping360

More from Americans for Tax Reform


West Virginia Lawmakers Urged to Pass Balanced Budget Without Tax Hikes in Special Session

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, June 16th, 2017, 6:35 AM PERMALINK

As a budget shutdown looms in West Virginia, lawmakers in the House and Senate have now both passed balanced budgets that reject the tax hikes called for by Democrat Governor Jim Justice. After vetoing a balanced budget earlier this year, lawmakers were called back into Special Session and asked to raise taxes yet again by a Governor who ran for office - this time with a revitalized call for a transportation bonding, gas tax, and DMV/car tax scheme. 

Both chambers of the legislature, which is under control by Republicans, have passed balanced budgets, however. In response to ongoing budget discussions and the debate over tax reform, ATR President Grover Norquist sent a letter to lawmakers this morning. 

The full letter from Grover can be read here

Dear Members of the West Virginia Legislature,

I write today in support of a FY 2018 budget that relies on spending restraint instead of tax increases to fund the government beginning on July 1.

Despite running for office promising not to raise taxes, Gov. Jim Justice kicked off the 2017 legislative session calling for the largest tax hike in West Virginia history. He has vetoed a balanced budget and called for even more reckless spending while doubling down on his push for tax hikes. We have urged lawmakers to stand strong against Gov. Jim Justice’s call for job-killing tax increases from day one and as a government shutdown looms, we urge lawmakers to remain opposed to out-of-control government growth, spending, and net tax hikes.

For months, the House, Senate, and Governor have debated two distinctly separate issues: how to solve an overspending problem and the identity of West Virginia’s future tax code, an important element of making the Mountain State a more appealing place to raise a family and start a business. After the most recent votes in the House and Senate, both chambers have now passed balanced budgets that reject tax hikes.

The second question before the House and Senate is on the topic of tax reform. Tax reform must not be a Trojan horse for tax increases, as the governor has insisted. But tax reform is a multi-year process. Tax cuts can absolutely be phased in to make the full impact of a tax reform plan revenue neutral for taxpayers at worst. This can be achieved through reasonably conservative revenue triggers or through mandatory reductions over several years. Reducing the impact of the personal income tax should remain a top priority for lawmakers. Taxing earnings discourages savings and reduces a state’s competitiveness.

ATR also urges lawmakers to reject gas tax increases that are not paired with offsetting tax reductions elsewhere. If transportation is truly a legislative priority, it should be funded first with currently collected revenue, not last with bonds, fees, and higher gas taxes on families and commuters. Raising taxes is what lawmakers do instead of reforming government to make it cost less.

Any net tax increase will be scored as a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, the written commitment many lawmakers have made to West Virginia voters. We will continue to monitor these issues and will be educating taxpayers on the outcome of the budget and tax reform.

For a list of signers of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in West Virginia, click here

Photo Credit: Flickr: Craig Moe

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Rex Alphin Supported Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion in Virginia

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, June 12th, 2017, 12:07 PM PERMALINK

In Virginia's 64th House district, fiscal conservative Emily Brewer is squaring off against serial tax-hiker Rex Alphin.

Alphin has a record, and it's at odds with taxpayers. He has supported a costly expansion of Obamacare's Medicaid program for able-bodied adults, saying it was a "mistake" for Virginia to oppose Governor Terry McAuliffe's plan to expand the Medicaid rolls under Obamacare.

Listen to what Alphin said in a recent radio interview here. 

If Alphin had his way, Virginia taxpayers would have been on the hook for spending billions more on Obamacare to fulfill Terry McAuliffe's most costly campaign promise. If expanded, the additional Medicaid costs would have likely led to massive tax hikes in Virginia, further hurting jobs and economic growth.

Alphin is no stranger to fiscally irresponsible leadership. As chairman of Isle of Wight's Board of Supervisors, Alphin repeatedly voted for higher taxes.

Under his leadership, real estate taxes have gone up over 30% in three years. If that weren't bad enough, Alphin voted to raise the machinery & tools tax by over 500%, a punishing blow to business and jobs in a district where many residents are concerned with jobs leaving for nearby North Carolina.

In fact, his record on fiscal issues is so reckless that 15 leaders of his own party took the nearly unprecedented step of writing an open letter disavowing his candidacy, opining that, “Mr. Alphin has never seen a tax hike he did not like! With his constant tax-hike voting record, he is voting more like a Democrat than a Republican.”

Fortunately, taxpayers have a better choice in the race. Emily Brewer is a fiscal conservative who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written promise to Virginia taxpayers to oppose tax hikes. Unlike Rex Alphin, Brewer opposed Obamacare expansion and has taken a strong stand against tax hikes and big government. 

 

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Democrats Claim Credit for Killing Budget Provision That Would Have Saved Vapor Industry and Consumers

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, May 1st, 2017, 8:01 AM PERMALINK

Early Monday morning, the FY17 Omnibus Budget to fund the federal government through October was rolled out by leaders of both parties. Notable among the policies and priorities missing from the agriculture budget was a House Appropriations Committee-passed provision that would have saved tens of thousands of business and millions of U.S. consumers from government overreach. Democrats were quick to take credit in a press release explaining the provisions they ensured were kept out included those that protected small vapor businesses and consumers from crippling regulations imposed last year. 

The May 2016 “Deeming Rule” imposed by the Obama Administration’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the list of tobacco products subject to burdensome rules established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to include tobacco-free vapor products and electronic cigarettes.

As we recently explained in a letter to House and Senate leadership:

"The Rule requires new products that did not exist on or before February 15, 2007 – the predicate date – to undergo a burdensome pre-market review process that achieves little in the way of protecting public health at a very high cost. The FDA’s own estimates found that the cost of completing and submitting the required Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) would exceed $300,000 per product and take at least 500 hours of time per application. At present, the deadline for the submission of PMTAs for each product manufactured in the United States is August 8, 2018...

Estimates from the startup industry suggest 99% of all businesses would be wiped out unless Congress or the Administration rein in the Deeming Rule’s burdensome barriers to approval for new products."

In their FY17 Omnibus Appropriations Act press release, House Democrats claimed credit for ensuring an important provision that would have grandfathered in products currently being used by smokers to quit was not included, noting, “The Omnibus does not include a House provision allowing thousands of unregulated tobacco products to escape full FDA review.”

Setting aside for a moment that the products are not unregulated, the provision referenced is the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill, bipartisan language that passed the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 31-19 last Spring. Stand-alone legislation, House Resolution 1136, also has the support of both Democrats and Republicans and would modernize the 2007 predicate date to August of 2016, ensuring that products being used by smokers to quit when the regulation took effect will remain available beyond net year.

As we explain:

"The Cole-Bishop Amendment and House Resolution 1136 would not weaken the TCA or the ability of the FDA to impose additional product standards or regulations on new products in the future. That is precisely why the efforts are bipartisan, because there is recognition that while regulations that protect consumers are important, the Rule imposed burdens that neither protect consumers, nor acknowledge that the consequence will be the new industry’s demise."

This minor statutory change would ensure that products known to be at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes were not treated more harshly than their combustible counterparts and made illegal by August of next year. Every cigarette on the market avoided the type of regulatory regime established by Obama’s FDA when the Tobacco Control Act passed in 2009. 

Without immediate action by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Food and Drug Administration, tens of thousands of businesses and jobs will be killed by next year. This will limit the availability of reduced risk products to millions of U.S. adult consumers, representing the greatest setback in public health in decades. This isn't the first time that out-of-touch House Democrats have claimed credit for punishing businesses trying to help consumers quit smoking but they should absolutely be ashamed of themselves.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Coalition Urges Congress to Rein in FDA's Overreach as Part of FY17 Spending Package

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, April 24th, 2017, 7:22 PM PERMALINK

Today, in a letter to GOP leadership in the House and Senate, as well as the Appropriations Chairman, Americans for Tax Reform and thirteen other free market groups urged Congress to rein in the Food and Drug Administration's May 2016 "Deeming Rule" as part of the FY17 appropriations package. Without immediate action, rules imposed by President Obama's FDA on an expanded list of "tobacco products" will force thousands of new businesses to close their doors by August of 2018. 

As a result of the Rule, which redefined tobacco products subject to regulations imposed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), every manufacturer of tobacco-free vapor products - large and small - will have to submit what is called a Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA), retroactive and burdensome pre-approval process designed to prevent new products from hitting the market. This will harm public health, stifle innovation, and kill jobs. 

Below is the letter, which can also be read here. 

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to provide regulatory relief from the Food and Drug Administration’s May 2016 “Deeming Rule” as part of the final FY17 omnibus appropriations package. Without a modernization of a provision of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), the Deeming Rule will kill tens of thousands of jobs in an industry that is helping many American smokers transition to lower risk alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

Language and legislation sponsored by Congressmen Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) modernizes the “predicate date” for newly deemed products, providing urgent relief to small businesses from an onerous and retroactive pre-approval process imposed by last year’s Rule. House Resolution 1136 and the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the current FY17 Agriculture Bill would provide additional substantive protections for adult consumers without preventing the FDA from imposing more appropriate regulations for the product category in the future.

Congressional action is necessary to prevent the loss of tens of thousands of jobs created in the last four years. Most of these jobs are the result of domestic manufacturing and new retailers that are providing smokers with potentially effective smoking cessation and/or harm reduction choices that were not available ten years ago. 

The Deeming Rule requires new products that did not exist on or before February 15, 2007 – the predicate date – to undergo a burdensome pre-market review process that achieves little in the way of protecting public health at a very high cost. The FDA’s own estimates found that the cost of completing and submitting the required Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) would exceed $300,000 per product and take at least 500 hours of time per application. At present, the deadline for the submission of PMTAs for each product manufactured in the United States is August 8, 2018.          

There are tens of thousands of vapor products that would have to be processed by the FDA and the Center for Tobacco Products in the months following August of next year, a nightmare for the agencies and small businesses involved. That is, if businesses could even afford an attempt at compliance. Estimates from the startup industry suggest 99% of all businesses would be wiped out unless Congress moves soon to rein in the Deeming Rule’s burdensome barriers to approval for new products.

This onerous process required of every single vapor product on the market today was one that every single manufacturer of cigarettes in the U.S. avoided when the TCA was signed into law. Even if businesses could afford this investment, however, the process is designed to end in failure. Many small businesses produce hundreds of these products and would be forced to close their doors as a result of this retroactive federal rule.

In his confirmation hearing as FDA Commissioner two weeks ago, Dr. Scott Gottlieb concluded, “There should be reduced harm products available to consumers to transition them off of combustible cigarettes.” Dr. Gottlieb recognizes what numerous international health agencies and bodies have – that vapor products are substantially less harmful than cigarettes and should be embraced by the government as low-risk alternatives for smokers. Without a statutory change to TCA by Congress, however, these tens of thousands of smoking cessation products will be illegal in August of next year.

Time is of the essence for many of these businesses, which cannot afford to wait for an administrative delay in deadlines or delayed Congressional action on the 2016 Deeming Rule. The millions of consumers who currently rely on these products as less harmful alternatives to smoking need your help today.

The Cole-Bishop Amendment and House Resolution 1136 would not weaken the TCA or the ability of the FDA to impose additional product standards or regulations on new products in the future. That is precisely why the efforts are bipartisan, because there is recognition that while regulations that protect consumers are important, the Rule imposed burdens that neither protect consumers, nor acknowledge that the consequence will be the new industry’s demise.

The inclusion of the Cole-Bishop Amendment, as it passed the House Appropriations Committee, will provide significant regulatory certainty to tens of thousands of small businesses in the United States. We encourage Congress to adopt the language into the final FY17 omnibus budget. 

The letter and its signers can be read and found here. 

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform


West Virginia House Moving Towards Tax Relief in Final Days of Session

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 1:26 AM PERMALINK

In recent weeks, several iterations of tax reform have been debated in the West Virginia House and Senate aimed at broadening the base and lowering rates.

This week, the House Finance Committee amended Senate Bill 484, which now accomplishes many of the original stated goals of the House effort on tax reform, an effort that fell short just a week ago – with one major difference. Unlike the House's first stab at this, the new version achieves net tax reductions as a sales tax rate cut is phased in beginning next year. Last week's plan without amendments would have been a $215 million tax increase over 3 years.

The amended Senate Bill 484 bill does raise revenue in year one, to the tune of $137 million generated as a result of expanding the application of the sales tax to telecommunications services, several personal services such as barbering and hair washing, and some forms of contracting services. That base broadening and new revenue, however, is more than offset in future years as a statewide sales tax cut is phased in. These rate cuts are required as a matter of law and should be counted as offsets for the immediate revenue increase. Here’s what the amended SB 484 achieves, according to estimates provided by members of the House Finance Committee and Deputy Revenue Secretary:  

Year                State Sales Tax Change        Revenue Impact

July/Oct’ 17   Base broadening                   $137 million in new revenue

July, ‘18          Rate cut from 6% to 5.5%    $98.5 million tax cut

July, ‘19          From 5.5% to 5.25%             $206 million tax cut

Through 2019, this law would result in a net tax cut of more than $167 million dollars. The sales tax rate reductions in future years are not merely promises; they are requirements if SB 484 passes that would take a new law passed by the House and Senate and signed by the Governor to prevent their implementation. As such, ATR considers the reductions to be adequate offsets for the 2017 revenue hike. Legislators who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge will not be in violation of that written commitment to taxpayers if they vote for SB 484, which moves in the right direction towards tax relief for West Virginia citizens.

The tax cuts don’t stop here, however. If sales tax revenues exceed the 2017 figures after 2019, a revenue trigger would kick in that further reduces the state sales tax in the year following higher tax collections. Here’s how that could look:

Year                State Sales Tax Change                Revenue Impact

July, ‘20          Rate cut from 5.25% to 5%          $258 million tax cut

July, ‘21          Rate cut from 5% to 4.75%          +$250 million tax cut

It’s important to note that these future tax cuts only take effect if future revenue collections exceed current collections (2017), after the phased-in tax cuts. As such, they are responsible caps on future spending should economic growth fuel increased consumption of goods and services in West Virginia.

This amendment was accepted by a 53 to 46 vote on Tuesday night and is up for a full vote in the House today. ATR applauds the work of the House Finance Committee and the effort to reduce the net tax burden on West Virginia taxpayers. ATR will update this post when an official revenue estimate is made available. 

Photo Credit: Flickr: Mobili

More from Americans for Tax Reform


ATR Urges HHS Secretary Tom Price to Provide Regulatory Relief to Emerging Vapor Market

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:09 PM PERMALINK

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, ATR president Grover Norquist today asked for an immediate two-year delay of pending pre-market review requirements imposed by the Food and Drug Administration's May 2016 "Deeming Rule." The Rule applies to vapor products, electronic cigarettes, and premium cigars. Absent immediate action by Congress or the Administration to roll back the FDA's new rules, more than ten thousand new businesses in the United States will be required to comply with an application process so expensive and onerous that over the next two years more than 95% of vapor product manufacturers and retail small businesses will be forced to shut down. 

The C.D.C. estimates that more than 9 million U.S. adult consumers use vapor products, which are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, according to the Royal College of Physicians and other leading public health organizations. 

Under the new rules, new smoke-free vapor products will be subject to the regulatory review process established in the 2009-passed Tobacco Control Act. From the letter:

"In 2009 when Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA)... the FDA was granted authority to impose new regulations upon tobacco products such as cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco. A “predicate date” of February 15, 2007 was established whereby products on the market at or before this date were exempt from pre-market FDA review. That look-back period was just over two years when the TCA was signed in 2009. The look-back period for newly deemed products is ten years. 

The FDA’s May 2016 Deeming Rule requires products which did not exist in 2007 – such as vapor products – to undergo the pre-market review process set up in the TCA. The process was designed to make it extraordinarily difficult to introduce new products to market, which is why it was supported by organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids."

There were a number of new requirements established in the FDA's May 2016 Rule. 

"The most significant of the requirements imposed by the FDA’s new Deeming Rule is a requirement that all manufacturers of vapor products submit every product currently available to consumers for pre-market review, a process that every single manufacturer of cigarettes in the United State avoided when the TCA was signed into law. The Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) requires businesses to spend in excess of $300,000 per product and at least 500 hours of time per application. Even if businesses could afford this investment, the process is designed to end in failure. Many small businesses produce hundreds of these products and would be forced to close their doors as a result." 

ATR is requesting a two-year delay in the PMTA filing deadline for newly deemed products. 

I am asking you to delay the PMTA filing deadline by at least two years as Congress considers an alternative approach to regulating these very low risk products. There are multiple efforts with bipartisan support aimed at addressing the issues I’ve outlined, including the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the FY17 House Agriculture Appropriations Bill and House Resolution 1136, also sponsored by Congressman Tom Cole (R-Okla.). It is paramount that Congress acts this year to modernize the February 2007 predicate date for newly deemed products on the market. 

The FDA is an agency of HHS and its commissioner reports to the Secretary of HHS. 

With the emergence of smoke-free vapor products, millions of U.S. adults have successfully quit smoking traditional cigarettes with a variety of products that did not exist in 2007. ​Imposing this retroactive and onerous set of pre-market review rules upon reduced risk products is illogical and stands to harm decades of efforts to reduce the harm assocaited with cigarette use. The original Act was designed to make it extremely difficult to introduce new tobacco products, and not a single cigarette on the market today was forced to go through this review process. ATR strongly encourages HHS and the FDA to rein in this overreach with immediate action to delay all future filing and application deadlines imposed by the FDA's Deeming Rule. 

The full letter can be read here.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Pages

×