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Source: Photos by Scott McIntyre for The Washington Post/Alex Wong/Getty Images

People Are Getting In Trouble For Ties To The NRA—Except It's Not The NRA

By Jonna Ivin-Patton

People are confusing the NRA (National Rifle Association) with the NRA (National Restaurant Association.) One is a powerful lobbyist group in Washington and the other is a powerful lobbyist group in Washington. You can see where it might get confusing.

After the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, many are calling on members of Congress and the Senate to stop taking contributions from the National Rifle Association, and in their enthusiasm have mistakenly called out those taking contributions from the National Restaurant Association. This might not be such a bad thing. Both organizations are hurting the American public.

The National Restaurant Association, according to a paper published by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, have been instrumental in keeping many food service workers living below the poverty level and, although the NRA claims to lobby for small businesses, they overwhelmingly support giant corporations and billionaire CEOs.

Over the last 25 years the NRA and its top corporate members have given over $63 million dollars in disclosed federal contributions, spending over $13 million in the 2012 election cycle alone.
As a representative of the nation’s restaurant industry, the NRA could choose to pursue a policy agenda of improving restaurant industry standards that reflect the vested interest of small and medium-sized business owners in ensuring the health and well-being of their communities. Unfortunately, at the moment the NRA has chosen to pursue a different agenda — one that has eroded public health, employment, and other legal protections for both restaurant workers and consumers. Nutritional menu labeling; regulation of sodium, trans fats, and sugars; minimum wage increases; and paid sick days are just a few of the policy proposals that the NRA has fiercely opposed