IMRA JOINS THE NEWT BRIGADE

NEW YORK — Backing the Contract With America, the International Mass Retail Association has begun distributing a packet called “Advancing the Agenda of the 104th Congress” to member stores, politicians and business leaders.
The trade association representing mass retailers has endorsed each of the 10 points in the economic, Congressional and social reform program proposed by House Republicans.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich distributed 250 copies of the packet at last week’s House Republican conference meeting to use “as an example of what business can do to support the contract and advance the agenda,” said Joseph E. Samora, IMRA’s vice president of political affairs.
More than 2,000 copies have been distributed since late January, Samora said, including about 250 copies to Target, which planned to pass them out at a regional company meeting. “The requests have been overwhelming, and other business groups want to see it,” he said.
The packet describes the 10 items in the Contract With America and seven similar items sponsored by Senate Republicans, also supported by IMRA.
In addition, the packet provides hints for executives on how to meet with Congressional representatives, brief newspaper editors about the contract and educate employees to generate grass roots support.
IMRA most fervently endorses the contract’s balanced budget amendment and the moratorium on federal regulations. The federal deficit, according to IMRA, discourages investment and is detrimental to the economy. IMRA said it supports “a responsible reduction in federal spending” to balance the budget, rather than tax increases.
The association also said regulation “falls especially hard on the American mass retail industry” and leads to higher costs, slow economic growth and job creation.
At its meeting late last month in Palm Beach, Fla., IMRA’s board unanimously endorsed the Contract With America and, via a satellite hookup, informed Speaker Gingrich of its position. Gingrich then addressed the IMRA directors for about 30 minutes.
“We are obviously delighted with the kind of pro-business allies that we have developed over the years who are in leadership positions now,” Samora said.

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