WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2006) — With Democrats winning their first majority in the House of Representatives in 12 years and waiting to hear if the hotly contested senatorial races in Virginia and Montana would give them a Senate majority as well, representatives of the tire industry predicted a tough time for industry-specific legislation in the 110th Congress.
Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), predicted that “a lot of the business agenda that didn't get passed in the last two years will now have to wait at least another two years.”
Among the items Mr. Littlefield feared would suffer in the new Congress were a permanent repeal of the estate tax and the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, both major legislative priorities for TIA.
With Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., an opponent of the Right to Repair Act, poised to be installed once again as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, it will be almost impossible to gain even a committee vote on the bill, according to Mr. Littlefield.
“The industry will have to regroup and try a new strategy to get action on this issue,” he said.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) took a more watchful view of the election results.
“We will certainly be reaching out to new members and new leaders in Congress in the coming months to ensure that they understand and appreciate the tire industry's economic contributions, as well as the safety and reliability of its products,” an RMA spokesman said.
In the Nov. 7 election, Democrats took 27 House seats, 12 more than they needed to regain control—and winners in a number of congressional races nationwide still have not been determined. Democrats also gained four seats in the Senate and were still waiting Nov. 8 to hear if they would win the two seats they needed to become a majority there. Democratic candidates also won 20 of 36 gubernatorial races, giving them 28 of 50 state governorships.