Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Q3 Update

The Vision Council’s government relations and regulatory affairs (GR) team of seasoned professionals is actively monitoring and proactively engaging key lawmakers and regulators on issues of the highest priority to the industry, working to ensure a positive business environment for our members.

The Vision Council continues to advocate on the hill for our legislative priorities, including the expansion of vision benefits and exclusion of tariffs for goods related to vision. In the spirit of keeping members informed, The Vision Council is sharing the following updates on recent GR news and efforts, as well as the GR team’s insights on what to watch in the upcoming weeks.

Federal Affairs Update


The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill will not have the votes necessary to pass as currently constructed in both chambers and will need more time to resolve. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continue to have concerns with the amount of money spent and the taxes raised to pay for the measure.

The Vision Council continues to monitor proposals to allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. This proposal would reduce spending by $100 billion over 10 years and much of that savings would pay for expansion of vision, hearing and dental benefits. As of today, Democrats are not united on a path forward and will need additional time to collaborate. The Vision Council is actively lobbying and monitoring Congress and will continue to update the membership.

Government Funding and Debt Limit

Today, Thursday, Sept. 30, the Senate and House of Representatives are expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government until December 3, 2021. Bipartisan support is expected and there will likely be no government shutdown. The debt limit still has not been adjudicated and will have until approximately Monday, October 18 for Congress to agree to raising the limit.


The Vision Council continues to advocate Congress on the China 301 tariffs imposed on Chinese origin merchandise. In lieu of the Biden Administration removing these tariffs, The Vision Council continues to advocate for Congress to reinstate the exclusion proposal previously granted or reinstate the exclusion process so that companies can make a new attempt to receive relief.


Democrats in the House of Representatives will try to move the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, but do not have the votes yet due to disagreements on the reconciliation bill. There is not robust Republican support in the House at this time and Democrats will work to shore up the votes to pass the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not typically put a bill on the floor until she has the votes. The dynamic at this juncture is progressives are withholding support until reconciliation is completed. Speaker Pelosi will need progressives to agree on moving forward with the infrastructure bill without reconciliation being completed.

GR “Office Hours”

The Vision Council encourages members to maximize their membership by taking advantage of exclusive access to the organization’s government relations and regulatory affairs (GR) team. The GR team is available to assist members with company-specific issues.

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For questions and concerns, please contact:

Ashley Mills, CEO
Maureen Beddis, Vice President of Marketing and Membership

Government and Regulatory Affairs
Sunglass & Reader Division
Lens Division
Lab Division
Lens Processing Technology Division
Low Vision Division
Optical Retail Division
Eyewear & Accessories Division