The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) issued the following statement on tonight’s State of the Union address and President Obama’s call to action on several policy items important to the U.S. lodging industry:

“With 14 straight quarters of growth, the lodging sector's ability to continue to thrive, add quality jobs, and bolster local communities is directly impacted by the policies coming from Washington,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “We appreciate that the President called tonight for a bipartisan approach to addressing many of the real problems facing this country, including those of importance to our industry, and highlighted the need to ensure fiscal stability for our nation. Hoteliers are particularly pleased that he included key issues – immigration reform, curbing the abuses of patent trolls, and tax reform – that are crucial to our industry in cities and towns across the country. We appreciate the members of the House of Representatives and Senate who have also shown leadership on these issues, and we hope the President and Congress will come together to address these and other important priorities, including much-needed reforms to the Affordable Care Act, in the near future.

“The 1.8 million men and women who have chosen lodging as a career need fiscal certainty and the ability to operate without government overreach and over-regulation to allow them to continue their key role as drivers of this country’s economy. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to advance these important initiatives. And we stress to elected officials, both state and federal, that government at all levels must avoid introducing any proposals that harm the overall economic climate and hinder the lodging industry’s ability to continue driving growth and job creation.

“Over the past year, we have seen what can be accomplished when Congress and the White House work together, with Senate passage of immigration reform and House passage of patent reform being two important examples. If hoteliers are to continue their positive growth in the years ahead, our government must set aside lingering and non-productive partisan differences to make this a reality.”