CBMA Legislation Update

Posted 11/15/2019

WSSA, along with many other industry groups, continues to pressure Congressional representatives to push the CBMA legislation. As we receive many questions every day asking about the prospects for extension or permanence, below please find an outline of possible scenarios:

Best Case Scenario: The best case scenario for CBMA is that it gets included with other tax extenders in a continuing resolution bill that will most likely be in front of Congress for a vote by Dec 20. There should be a vote next week (November 21) on a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 20 and avoid a government shutdown. This short term bill is expected to be a "clean bill" per House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, meaning that it will not include provisions that could prove to be decisive and hold up the legislation (issues such as border security and military funding). This would give the House and Senate another month to address longer-term bills and add more items to the next iteration of the CR (continuing resolution) that would potentially be presented on December 20. If this happens and the bill passed and is signed into law, we would be good to go with CBMA—with the expectation that it will be a one year extension.

Worst Case Scenario:  The worst case scenario will be if Congress "kicks the can" down the road and continues to pass short term CRs to keep funding the government while they work through the details of the big spending issues that could delay everything. This would put us in a position of being without the CBMA benefits until some point in 2020 when the legislation is attached to a vehicle that includes longer term bills. So, as of now, the government funding bill is our best bet, and we can hope for a decision prior to year end. If not, we will be back in a retroactive claim process for both eligible domestic and imported product until the measure is passed.

If CBMA helps your business, you can help with this effort. Your voice matters! Call or email your congressional representative and tell them how much the CBMA means to your business and how important it is to pass the extension before the end of the year. A lapse will not only affect your business, but will be a nightmare for the agencies involved, including TTB and CBP. Let us know if you need any contact information or talking points and we are happy to assist.