The 2014 mid-term election is now complete and by all accounts it was a landslide for the Republican party. But just how will these results effect protecting our right to buy and smoke premium cigars? The following article is filled with great information on this topic and was provided to us by the IPCPR.
WASHINGTON, DC — Tuesday’s 2014 mid-term election resulted in a number of substantial victories for Republican candidates. The GOP took control of the U.S. Senate and expanded its majority in the House of Representatives to one of the largest margins in history. With several key races yet to be officially decided, the current breakdown is as follows:
U.S. Senate: 52 Republican, 46 Democrat (2 seats remain outstanding)
U.S. House: 247 Republican, 183 Democrat (6 seats remain outstanding)
Governors: 31 Republicans, 7 Democrat (2 remain outstanding)
Click this link to view an overview of election results nationwide.
For those interested in the effort to define and protect premium cigars from FDA regulations, there were a number of notable victories. Beginning on the House side, both the lead sponsors of H.R. 792, Representative Bill Posey (R-FL) and Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) were re-elected. Of the remaining 164 co-sponsors of H.R. 792, the vast majority were re-elected. At this time, 10 were defeated, and 13 retired or sought election to a different office. Three co-sponsors of H.R. 792, Representative Tom Cotton (R-AR), Representative Steve Daines (R-MT), and Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO), were elected to the U.S. Senate. Two co-sponsors of H.R. 1639 from the previous Congress, Representative Bob Dold (R-IL) and Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH) were also elected after having been defeated in 2012.
On the Senate side, the lead sponsors of S. 772, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), were not on the ballot. They will be up for re-election in 2018 and 2016, respectively. Of the remaining co-sponsors who were up for re-election, 2 did not seek re-election and 3 were re-elected. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a supporter of the premium cigar industry, however, will head to an early December run-off election since she did not garner at least 50 percent of the vote.
For more information on H.R. 792 and S. 772, please visit www.ipcprlegislative.org.
The change in control of the U.S. Senate will likely result in a number of contentious battles between Congress and the White House, particularly on issues related to government regulations and taxes. The first task for the “lame duck” Congress will be passing a measure to fund the government into calendar year 2015.
On January 3, 2015, the 114th Congress will convene. As of today, there will be 11 new Senators and 50 new Representatives. The IPCPR team, along with industry partners, will be diligently working in the coming weeks to educate new legislators on issues related to regulation and taxation of premium cigars, and encourage cigar retailers to do the same in their communities.