Congressional Support for S Corporation ESOPs
The ESCA 2009 Annual Report reviews ESCA's 2009 legislative efforts and discusses how they employed a more aggressive strategy to speak out on behalf of S Corporation ESOP companies:
In this year when the national economy took a body blow and Congressional policymakers began their search for any possible source of new revenue including many proposals to get new funding from small and private businesses ESCA decided it was time to reposition, and lead with our strengths. A decade after S ESOPs could be formed, the data ESCA has been able to generate to demonstrate the success of the structure in achieving the policy goals Congress intended showing vastly more worker retirement savings and more economic savings for business than could ever have occurred without S ESOPs is now a tool we are using to promote Congressional expansion of S ESOPs. Two of our key champions in the House, Representatives Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, have already stepped up to the plate, introducing legislation they worked on with ESCA that will achieve this task.
How will this measure help companies in ESCA that are already S ESOPs? We believe this bill is a critical tool to amplifying ESCA's voice in Congress. At a time when so many groups are competing for attention, and working not to be on the 'chopping block,' the Kind/Blumenauer bill is a strategic move to let policymakers know that S ESOPs have important allies, and should be expanded, not contracted, in any new policy regime.
The Kind/Blumenauer bill refers to H.R. 3586: S Corporation ESOP Promotion and Expansion Act of 2009, a piece of legislation introduced on September 16, 2009, by Rep. Ronald Kind [D-WI] and co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR].
The report also revisited the 2009 ESCA Leadership Summit:
It was a particular honor to have three conference speakers from the Ways and Means Committee address attendees: Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY); Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND); and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). During his keynote remarks, Chairman Rangel described S corporation ESOPs as a "concept that can go beyond a dream" and praised the "American energy and entrepreneurship" of employee ownership, while encouraging ESCA members to "go see your Member" to ensure that there is significant support for private, employee-owned companies when Congress takes up tax reform next year. Congressman Pomeroy (D-ND) also praised S ESOP companies as "a structure that produces competitive businesses" with a "happy and proud story to tell." In addition to these key Members, conference participants heard from senior U.S. Department of Treasury official Mark Iwry who spoke about the Administration's plans to expand 401(k) and IRA coverage.