NASBP kicked off the 2016 NASBP Legislative Fly-in on June 7 by recognizing U.S. House of Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY-22) for his work and commitment on behalf of the surety industry. NASBP Government Relations Committee Chair, Kevin Garrity, who was at one time Hanna’s bond producer when Hanna owned a construction business, presented Hanna with a plaque on behalf of the NASBP Board of Directors, which in-part stated, “[Rep. Hanna].....exercised consummate skill, leadership, and dedication for the benefit of the surety and construction business communities and for the welfare of the nation.”
On the morning of June 8 NASBP President Lynne W. Cook and Chair Garrity welcomed attendees to the Fly-in. Vice Chair of the NASBP Government Relations Committee Tracy Tucker introduced each of the morning program's speakers. Jon Reedy, the Northeast Regional Political Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, provided an outlook and forecast for the 2016 congressional races. Mike Platt, Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7th), offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look at a congressional office from his position as chief of staff for Blackburn, who holds a caucus leadership position. In addition, Craig Brightup of The Prior Approval Reform Coalition (PARC) and from The Brightup Group LLC updated attendees on the Coalition's advocacy efforts to address the prior written authorization requirement imposed on trade association political action committees (PACs).
That afternoon, NASBP Members and Affiliates journeyed to Capitol Hill to discuss several important surety issues with their federal elected officials. This year, NASBP representatives visited over 40 congressional offices, where they addressed the following issues:
Making lawmakers aware of the protections bonds provide to taxpayers, subcontractors and suppliers;
Requiring bonds on federal public-private partnership (P3) agreements to protect precious taxpayer funds and payment remedies for subcontractors and suppliers;
Requesting that bonds be required when the government provides loans and or grants for P3 agreements; and
Requesting for the removal of the prior written authorization requirement that requires trade association PACs to obtain separate and specific approval in writing from its member corporations before soliciting their executive or administrative staff. NASBP is a member of the Prior Approval Reform Coalition (PARC), which advocates that the prior written authorization requirement is unnecessary and should be eliminated because, among other policy reasons, it is inequitable and restricts trade associations’ First Amendment rights.
Plans are already underway for the 2017 Fly-in, which will again occur in June. Fly-in attendees will be encouraged to take advantage of the sightseeing and educational opportunities in DC and plan a family vacation in conjunction with the 2017 Fly-in. There will be ample time for sightseeing on Tuesday morning and afternoon as the Fly-in will begin with a Tuesday evening reception. NASBP will notify the membership of the dates for the 2017 Fly-in once they are finalized.