The Direct Selling Association (DSA) presented U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) with the 2012 Champion of Free Enterprise Award on Sept. 12, 2012, in recognition of his ongoing commitment to and support of policies that protect the interests of the millions of micro-entrepreneurs working as direct sellers in the U.S.
DSA Chairman of the Board Brett Chapman and DSA President Joseph Mariano presented the award to Rep. Sessions in conjunction with Direct Selling Day, the industry’s annual legislative event. As part of the day, executives and consultants from more than 40 DSA member companies visited more than 50 congressional offices to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the direct selling industry.
“We are honored to be able to recognize Rep. Sessions for his support of the direct selling industry and commitment to protecting direct sellers and their customers across the nation,” said Mariano. “Direct sellers are independent contractors who value the flexibility of choosing when and how they pursue their work. Members of Congress like Rep. Sessions who understand the importance of direct selling to the economy should be recognized for their actions.”
In 2011, Rep. Sessions voted to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that could have negatively impacted millions of direct sellers.
Rep. Sessions also urged the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate a sound Business Opportunity Rule.
“I understand where you’re coming from and I believe in what you’re doing,” Rep. Sessions said of the direct selling industry. “The American Dream is about guaranteeing opportunities, not outcome. It’s about making sure you can work to better your own life and the lives of those around you. I’m very proud to be associated with you. You, too, get [the Champion of Free Enterprise] award every day by making lives better for a lot of people.”
Rep. Sessions joins the association’s 70 “Champions of Direct Selling” who have shown support for direct selling positions. For a complete list, visit http://legislativerecognition.dsa.org.
“These Champions, whether through introducing anti-pyramid legislation, supporting the uniform treatment of direct sellers as independent contractors under state unemployment laws, or defending direct sellers from income tax withholding on independent contractors, work to protect the millions of direct sellers who are the foundation of our industry,” said Mariano.
Nearly 16 million direct sellers work as independent consultants in the U.S., selling nearly $30 billion in products and services annually.