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The Other NRA—You Know, for Restaurants—Goes to Washington

The Other NRA???You Know, for Restaurants???Goes to Washington
Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Members of the other NRA—that would be the National Restaurant Association—are gathering in Washington today and tomorrow to lobby Capitol Hill. The Public Affairs Conference (PDF), as its called, is an annual event. This year the timing is especially good: Any day now, the Senate is supposed to consider raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour (from $7.25). The NRA is dead set against the increase. It’s a powerful group, representing the interests of a $680 billion industry: Chipotle, KFC, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Taco Bell, as well as hundreds of other companies big and small, are members.

It’s unlikely that Congress will pass a minimum wage increase this year. Still, no trade group misses a chance to press its case. The NRA is taking the opportunity to talk about other issues restaurant owners care about. It’s pushing for immigration reform and changes to the Affordable Care Act that would define full-time work as 40 hours a week rather than 30, says Scott DeFife, the NRA’s head of policy and government affairs. About 700 NRA members have come to Washington to lobby this year.