Political engagement is extremely important for NASBP members this year, as a House measure related to individual surety is a key legislative issue, NASBP CEO Mark McCallum said in remarks Tuesday at the association’s Annual Meeting.
McCallum said that NASBP members need to be “political animals” and called on them to attend this year’s Legislative Fly-in, on June 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C.
The Fly-in will be a chance for NASBP producers and surety underwriters to voice their opinions and “continue to build the momentum in support of H.R. 776,” McCallum said.
H.R. 776 is currently the most time-sensitive legislative issue for NASBP and could be taken for review as early as Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee, NASBP officials said.
The measure, known as the Security in Bonding Act of 2013, aims to “ensure that assets pledged by individual sureties will be stable, able to be liquidated easily, and in the care and custody of federal contracting authorities to minimize the risk of fraudulent bonds and protect small and disadvantaged businesses on federal contracts,” McCallum said earlier this week.
The goal of the legislation is to make certain that real assets or “eligible obligations” back all bonds, an example of this would be U.S. government-backed debt instruments such as Treasury bills or notes.
The legislation has time to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act, but it must be supported by the House Judiciary and Small Business committees for that to happen, McCallum said. The Small Business Committee’s leadership has testified before the House Armed Services Committee in favor of including the measure in the NDAA already, he added.
The measure also would increase the guarantee under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program from 70% to 90% of the loss that could be incurred by a surety involved in the program.
In previous NDAA legislation that passed, the cap on the value of surety bonds guaranteed by the SBA program was raised to $6.5 million from $2 million, which was sought and supported by NASBP.
Learn more about this year’s NASBP Legislative Fly-in at http://www.nasbp.org/Flyin/Home/