Boozman, who serves on the House Transportation Committee, and Allen, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, were presented with the foodservice distribution industry's highest award for their work on a number of key issues. Boozman was recognized for his leadership and support for efforts to add flexibility to the motor vehicle operator hours of service regulations, a profoundly important issue to the foodservice distribution industry. Sen. Allen was recognized for his longstanding commitment to the free enterprise agenda including his stalwart support for repeal of the death tax.
The two citations, presented every two years in conjunction with the adjournment of each Congress, for "distinguished service" are awarded to a House and Senate members who have exemplified free-market values and supported issues that are of the highest priority to the foodservice distribution industry, according to IFDA. In addition, Thomas Jefferson Awards were presented to 225 Representatives and 53 Senators who have voted consistently in support of sound fiscal policy and other free-market principles crucial to the health of the foodservice distribution industry and the nation's economy as a whole.
"As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I understand the importance of bringing common sense and flexibility to federal transportation regulations," said Rep. Boozman on receiving the award.
"With the development of on-demand and on-time delivery, the warehouses of today are truly the trucks on the road. But we all know that one size does not fit all, especially in the trucking industry. That is why I am a strong advocate for flexibility in the Hours of Service rules. I appreciate IFDA's leadership in advocating a common sense approach to the unfair Hours of Service rules that hamstring truck drivers and lead to driver fatigue. Moving goods effectively and efficiently on our highways is not only important to industry, but at the end of the day it is critical to the consumer. I am grateful to IFDA for their tireless efforts to improve our nation's ability to transport goods and I share their commitment to free enterprise," said Boozman.
"The IFDA has done a wonderful job of educating lawmakers about the needs of this vitally important industry," said Sen. Allen on receiving the award. "I am so appreciative of the chance to serve in the U.S. Senate to advance our common goals of making America even more competitive in the international marketplace and to insure that we are a land of opportunity for all people. This award is especially meaningful not only because it comes from the leaders at IFDA but also because it bears the name of my political hero: Thomas Jefferson. I am honored to be with you today, to accept this great award and to work with you."
Of the several hundred votes cast during the 109th Congress in 2005-06, IFDA selected 15 votes on the House side and 11 votes on the Senate side that are critical to the industry. Recipients of the 2006 Thomas Jefferson Award were recorded favorably on at least 70 percent of these votes. To access an article that includes these voting records, click for Senate and House.
On the House side, IFDA strongly supported the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (H.R. 554), the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, and a series of OSHA reform bills, among others. In the Senate, top issues included the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S.2611) and the Class Action Fairness Act (S.5). In both the House and the Senate, support for the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (H.R.8) was of critical interest to the foodservice distribution industry due to the many family-owned distributorships and for the vast number of family-owned restaurant customers across the U.S.
"The foodservice distribution industry touches the life of every American consumer," said Mark Allen, IFDA president and ceo. "These awards acknowledge Members of the 109th Congress who support family-owned businesses, make balanced policy decisions, and support policies that strengthen the foodservice distribution industry and the U.S. economy. The Distinguished Service Awards, presented to Rep. Boozman and Sen. Allen, are our way of recognizing two exceptional legislators who stand on principles that make our economy stronger."
The award program is founded on Thomas Jefferson's philosophy toward commerce, expressed clearly in his first inaugural address when he stated: "A wise and frugal government