SuretyPAC helps NASBP maintain a distinct voice on Capitol Hill

By Shannon V. Crawford posted 05-10-2016 04:20 PM

  
SuretyPAC, which has been NASBP's political action committee for more than two decades is a critical means for NASBP to advocate for the Association's federal legislative agenda. “SuretyPAC disbursements provide NASBP Government Relations staff with invaluable face-time to educate legislators in a more focused way on the merits and purpose of the product,” says NASBP Government Relations Committee Chair Kevin Garrity of the NASBP Member firm of Rose and Kiernan in East Greenbush, NY.

SuretyPAC Chair Chris Leach of the NASBP Member firm of Arthur J. Gallagher, says the PAC's sole focus on the interests of surety is a crucial reason why key owners or officers of surety agencies and brokerages should consider authorizing the PAC to solicit contributions from their firms' personnel.

“It is the only federal PAC that is 100% devoted to representing the surety industry and establishing and nurturing relationships with candidates running for congressional office,” Garrity says.

NASBP gains access to congressional decision-makers by attending events and meeting with lawmakers and their staffs, Leach says. “It's working; we’ve achieved results,” he says.

“The access gained through PAC contributions, together with the efforts of the Association's Government Relations staff, has given us the ability to promote, educate, advocate and preserve our product,” Garrity says.

The PAC began as a tool for preserving the Miller Act, which helped prosper the surety industry. This year, its top goal is to support bonding requirements in a provision of the reauthorization of the Water Resources Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), Garrity and Leach say.

WRRDA creates a pilot for public-private partnerships in state and local water-infrastructure projects, and it establishes the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA), a federal loan and financing program. NASBP wants bonding to be required when states and municipalities receive federal loans or grants for P3 water-infrastructure projects.

A recent major legislative victory, Leach says, was last year's passage of surety language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Its amendments included a provision imposing stricter asset requirements on individual sureties looking to bond federal construction contracts, while another increases the guarantee provided through the Small Business Administration's Surety Bond Guarantee Preferred Program.

“Recently we had success making sure that individual sureties are adequately funded and capable of meeting obligations,” Garrity says. “We are also using the PAC to communicate about the industry’s efforts to educate and support the emerging and minority contracting community.”

“It's important to be able to go on the Hill and see the right people, to get the right message across, and to have someone carry your torch,” and SuretyPAC gives NASBP members that access, Leach says.

For more information about the NASBP SuretyPAC, visit nasbp.org at http://www.nasbp.org/advocate/federal/suretypac or contact NASBP Director of Government Relations at lleclair@nasbp.org.

Be sure to join your NASBP colleagues to advocate for surety during the NASBP Legislative Fly-in on June 7-8 in Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.nasbp.org/flyin/home or register now at nasbp.org. http://events.nasbp.org/staff/hq/Core/Events/Events_NASBP.aspx?
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