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IHRSA on Capitol Hill Promoting PHIT, Honoring Get Active Leadership Award Recipients

Posted: September 20, 2016 in IHRSA

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IHRSA: Success By AssociationIHRSA: Success By Association

BOSTON, MA – Members and staff from IHRSA, The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, along with members of the PHIT Coalition are on Capitol Hill today, conducting a Lobby Day to generate additional support for the PHIT Act.

Members of the PHIT Coalition, co-chaired by IHRSA and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), are meeting with Members of the House and the Senate, asking them to co-sponsor the PHIT Act. Currently, PHIT has 101 bipartisan sponsors, with 88 from the House and 13 from the Senate.

PHIT, The Personal Health Investment Today Act, would allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos and youth sports league fees. If passed, it would allow individuals to tap their pre-tax account up to $1,000 per year to cover these expenses—families would be granted up to $2,000.

In addition to the day’s lobbying efforts, members of IHRSA’s Board of Directors are presenting the first-ever “IHRSA Get Active Leadership Award” to Congressional Fitness Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bob Dold (R-IL). This inaugural award honors Members of Congress with especially strong track records of supporting policy initiatives that promote physical activity.

IHRSA and its membership will be represented in Washington D.C. by Missy Moss, Steve Cappezone and Allison Flatley, members of IHRSA’s Board of Directors; Suzanne Trainor, IHRSA’s public policy assistant, and Tom Scanlon and Jay Sweeney, the association’s Washington D.C. lobbyists.

Jay Sweeney, IHRSA’s lobbyist, commented “Though it remains unclear whether substantive work on the PHIT Act will proceed in a “lame duck” post-election session of Congress, this Lobby Day is intended to maintain pressure on lawmakers to support the bill, energize the broader PHIT Coalition, and set the stage for a major push to pass PHIT in 2017 (if the bill is not considered during the remainder of this year).”

Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s EVP of public policy added, “This lobbying day provides the perfect occasion to rightfully acknowledge and honor Reps. Kind and Dold for their long-term commitment to helping Americans live healthy lifestyles’. Durkin continued, ‘By presenting them with the ‘Get Active Leadership Award’, we hope to raise the visibility of their efforts and to inspire others on Capitol Hill to recognize the important role that public policy has to play in enabling all Americans to embrace and live more physically active lives.”
PHIT Coalition members expected to participate in today’s PHIT Lobby Day include the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Outdoor Industry Association, the Cooper Institute, Nike, SFIA, IHRSA, the Yoga Alliance, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), the League of American Bicyclists, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), PGA of America, Brunswick, and the National Recreation and Parks Association.

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