Red “Ripple” in 2022 Mid-Term Elections 

Despite history and present-day polls and pundits predicting a sweeping GOP victory in the November 2022 mid-term elections, the “red wave” did not occur – although the GOP did retake control of the House by a narrow margin.  Some more granular items of interest to ACRA members that may not have caught your attention as part of the national coverage of the mid-terms: 

  • 12 out of the 13 Senators and Representatives supported by ACRAPAC in 2021/2022 won re-election in 2022 (a 92% win rate);
  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) likely will take the post of “ranking” (most senior) Republican on the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues of importance to ACRA such as privacy, vehicle data access, vehicle recalls, vehicle safety and FAA reauthorization; he replaces Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who will shift to be ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee;
  • Regardless of the outcome of the Georgia Senate Run, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will remain Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee;
  • Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) likely will become Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastr ucture Committee, which has jurisdiction in the House over the FAA reauthorization, surface transportation (highway) bills, and, vehicle data access for trucks; Mr. Graves is the author of the federal vicarious liability pre-emption law (the Graves Amendment) and was a speaker at the ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference;
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) likely will become Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over privacy, vehicle data access, vehicle safety, environmental protection including CO2 legislation and vehicle recalls; and,
  • With the House controlled by the GOP by a slim margin and the Senate controlled by the Democrats by a slim margin, committee ratios will be very narrow and both parties will have to legislate towards the center and bipartisanship to get anything done between 2023 and the 2024 presidential election.

2022 “Lame Duck” Session of Congress 
Congress will reconvene in early December for a post-election “lame duck” session.  The only “must do” during this session is a budget bill (also called an omnibus appropriation or a continuing resolution) to keep the federal government operating through, perhaps, mid-March.  But many other policy issues are in play during the lame duck – most important to ACRA would be a delay in the start of the sunset of full expensing of personal property.  ACRA is working with other stakeholders to convince Congress to delay the onset of the sunset until 2025.  A deal between Democrats and Republicans on tax matters could include an extension of the child tax credit for individuals in exchange for several corporate tax extenders, including full expensing.  However, as this newsletter goes to press, bipartisan peace has yet to break out on Capitol Hill post-election and the parties really aren’t talking deals as of yet.  More to come, and hopefully some good news on full expensing, in the January newsletter.

2023 International Car Rental Show – Save the Dates 
The 2023 ICRS will be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV from April 16 – 18, 2023.  Save the date and plan to join your international car rental colleagues in Vegas for yet another great conference!  Be Advised!  When ACRA members register for the 2023 ICRS, they must contact Sharon Faulkner before registering to obtain the registration discount code for ACRA members.  If you register for the 2023 ICRS and then try to secure the ACRA member discount, your request will not be permitted.  So, rejoin ACRA, get the ACRA discount code prior to registering for ICRS, and enjoy the full benefits of your ACRA membership!    Click Here To Register.

2023 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference – Mark Your Calendars! 
Based on the success of this year’s 2022 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference, planning is underway already for the 2023 Conference.  Details to follow, but please mark your calendars for October 8 – 11, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

IRS Seeks Comments on Commercial EV Tax Credits 
The IRS published a notice seeking public comment on several aspects of the commercial EV tax credit included in the IRA22 law that is set to take effect on January 1, 2023 (IRS Notice).  Comments are due by December 2, 2022.  As this newsletter goes to press, the ACRA Board has not yet decided whether the association should file comments on behalf of the industry.  Individual ACRA members with an opinion to express should draft and file their own comments on the questions and clarifications requested by the IRS.

Senate Commerce Committee Seeks ACRA Input on 2023 FAA Reauthorization Bill 
The staff of the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee has asked ACRA to submit its list of federal policy priorities for the 2023 Federal Aviation Reauthorization bill.  Spending authorization for FAA programs expires on September 30, 2023 and Congress must pass a new authorization bill to permit federal spending after this date.  ACRA has been discussing federal policy priorities with the two airport trade associations – the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airports Council International – North America – focused primarily on the “electrification” of car rental facilities at federally-assisted airports.  ACRA’s response to the Senate Commerce request will be available in next month’s newsletter.

FTC Seeks Comments on “Junk Fees” 
The Federal Trade Commission issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments from the public on so-called “junk fees” being charged consumers by various businesses (FTC ANPRM).  Comments on the FTC proposal are due by January 9, 2023.  The ACRA Board has decided that ACRA will not file comments on the ANPRM, but may join comments being prepared by larger business trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Stay tuned for further developments on this front.

ACRA Membership Activity New Regular Operator Members: 

  • NC Auto Rentals, LLC, Burlington NC;
  • CLE Auto Rental, Cleveland, OH; and,
  • SOMIA Rent a Car, Miami, FL 

Renewed Regular Operator Members 

  • T&A Concierge/Sky Rentals, Miami, FL; and,
  • Midway Auto Group, Los Angeles, CA