Significant Progress on DOD Per Diem Cuts 

AHLA made very significant progress toward ending harmful cuts to per diem rates which will help further our broader goal of maintaining rates that are market-based and fair to the industry. At the end of 2014, the Department of Defense instituted severe cuts to per diem rates for uniform and civilian employees on long-term travel by 25% when employees were traveling for over 30 days and by 45% when traveling over 180 days.  For the last three years, the House of Representatives voted to roll back the cuts, but due to opposition in the Senate to our position, the cuts stayed in place. Building on our efforts of previous years, AHLA undertook an extensive lobbying campaign, led a coalition of interested parties pushing for repeal of the rate cuts, and harnessed the grassroots power of scores of individual hotel properties near military bases to build support on the Senate Armed Services Committee and maintain support in the House. Last week, the Senate committee voted 14-13 to repeal the cuts as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (an annual bill that sets policy for the Defense Department), and the full House of Representatives has already done so as well. We expect that this bill will become law later in the year, and finally reverse these cuts that have been damaging to hotels and a burden on military personnel. Assuming no unexpected hurdles arise, hotels will again be able to collect the full per diem rate from long-term guests.