Shift in power to Dems will hurt Right to Repair, other issues, says TIA's Fiore

Nov. 10, 2006

The power shift in Washington from Republican to Democrat isn't the best news for the Right to Repair Act and other pieces of legislation that directly impact independent tire dealers, Paul Fiore, director of government and business relations for the Tire Industry Association, has told

"There are three things that are completely off the table now, which is very unfortunate: small business health plan legislation, any permanent reform of the Estate Tax and any tort reform of Lawsuit Abuse Reduction," he says. "Those three things will be very difficult to get a hearing.

"The bigger piece for tire dealers is the Right to Repair issue. The new chairman in all probability will be John Dingell, who’s the ranking Democrat. Representative Dingell represents Michigan and Detroit, in particular. He’s acted like a prosecuting attorney in most (Right to Repair) hearings and has grilled our witnesses.

"The issue may not be dead but it’s certainly going to be a much more difficult for us."

Fiore says Right to Repair may have better success at the state level. A couple of weeks ago, New Jersey's version of the Right to Repair Act was unanimously passed by the New Jersey Assembly's Consumer Affairs Committee.

"We may have to take Right to Repair to the states, but that’s risky because if you start introducing legislation you certainly want it to be successful.

"On the other hand, if Right to Repair starts passing at states, you’re making a point and that's hard for Congress to ignore.

"I think we have six months to see what happens here. Anybody who spends any time paying attention to politics in this country will acknowledge that (being) 18 months (ahead) of the 2008 presidential election, there’s not going to be a lot getting done in Washington."