September 20, 2023 Update: The health and fitness industry continues to strongly advocate for Congress to #PassPHIT. To participate in active campaigns, visit the IHRSA action center. For more recent updates and resources, check out our PHIT page.
Beginning in the early days of the pandemic, our team has worked nonstop to advocate for the industry to Congress and state lawmakers. We've sent letters, organized grassroots campaigns, met with official reopening teams to discuss guidelines, collaborated with national and international health organizations, and more.
Since the first month of dedicated lobbying efforts, we've been so focused on what we can do to help keep clubs in business that we haven't done the best job sharing our latest actions. To remedy this, we're creating this page that we'll frequently update with all the work being done to help the fitness industry.
IHRSA's July Lobbying Activity
Senate Republicans are trying to put together a $1 trillion economic relief package. We expect them to unveil their bill soon. Then they will negotiate with the Democrats.
IHRSA’s Lobbying Activity for the Week of July 20
- Senate Republicans Leaderships met Tuesday, July 21, to discuss their economic relief package. Sections of the package were leaked/released. We expect the full release by the end of the week.
- Experts anticipate the Senate bill will represent a little more than $1 trillion in spending. For comparison, the House bill was $3 trillion.
- IHRSA continues to engage Senate offices, discussing our priorities for the bill through virtual fly-in meetings with club operators, lobbyists, and Senate staff. Currently, we are focusing on scheduling meetings for IHRSA members who are constituents of the Senate Small Business Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.
- Given the closing of clubs in additional states, IHRSA sent another letter to Congressional leadership documenting the crisis facing the health and fitness club industry. Congress must act to save hundreds of thousands of jobs. In the letter, we stress that "without immediate federal assistance, IHRSA estimates that 8,000 businesses could shutter permanently, affecting tens of thousands of workers across the industry." This effort is accompanied by a targeted push to get coverage from D.C. media on how badly the latest coronavirus surge is impacting the industry.
- As part of an effort to address the severe problems COVID-19 has created for physical activity and kids sports, the PHIT Coalition (interest groups spanning the medical field, health and fitness clubs represented by IHRSA, youth sports organizations and professional sports leagues) and the PlaySports Coalition—representing over 4,000 organizations—sent a letter to Senate leadership asking for passage of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (S. 680/H.R. 1679).
From the start, our lobbying asks of Congress have focused on gaining immediate relief, future protection, and stimulus to get the industry and America healthy once again.