While the industry champions, notably Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) remain well-positioned, NPA’s executive director and CEO John Gay said the industry much watch for “Senators and Representatives soon to be out of power [who] may try to slip their pet proposals into must-pass pieces of legislation, like the spending bill”.
The mid-term elections, described by Gay as “the most remarkable election in my 25 years in Washington”, will throw up some significant changes for the industry, with the change in leadership in the House possibly helping because “Representative Henry Waxman must now give up the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, although he remains in Congress”, said Gay.
Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) re-election is also worth a mention from NPA, with their CEO asking: “Will he introduce another version of his Dietary Supplement Safety Act, or will he continue to work with Senator Hatch? That is a key question”.
John Gay also pointed to another piece of legislation that may resurface, namely the legislation to grant additional enforcement powers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “NPA members helped stop this proposal when Congress was debating the Wall Street reform bill this summer, but it could be brought back to life,” he said.
But the limits of existing powers are expected to be testes by federal regulators, despite additional authority unlikely to be granted by the new Congress. “We support their actions aimed at getting the bad actors out of the market,” said Gay, “but it is a problem if they target the legitimate industry, especially if they go beyond the current law to do so.”