Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International members pushed for reductions in regulatory burdens and the elimination of the online sales tax loophole, among other issues, at its annual Congressional Fly-In lobbying event in May in Washington, D.C.  

Members also discussed key issues affecting their companies, such as pursuing full expensing of HVAC and refrigeration equipment, preserving LIFO (the “last in, first out” cost-flow assumption), repealing the federal estate tax, supporting the Working Families Flexibility Act and Regulatory Accountability Act, and pursuing more career and technical education support and encouragement for careers in the trades. Attendees were able to discuss these issues with members of Congress during meetings with more than 200 congressional offices.

The organization presented its 2017 Small Business Champion Award to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and also heard from Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), who discussed his experience as a small-business owner while in Congress.

“On behalf of HARDI, I want to thank all the attendees and members for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Washington in support of the HVAC (and refrigeration) industry,” said Jon Melchi, HARDI’s vice president of government and external affairs. “With the record attendance this year, we’re seeing more of our members engage with elected officials year over year, which is crucial for advancing our priorities. The collective efforts from everyone who attended the HARDI Congressional Fly-In this year have already given us the momentum we need to push several of our key issues, and we’ll keep members updated as we hit milestones in our progress.

HARDI officials said this year’s gathering hit a record with an attendance of 105.