By Kevin Mayeux, NAIFA CEO
Much has changed since last May, when 700 NAIFA members took our unified political advocacy message to Washington, D.C., as part of the 2016 Congressional Conference. For one thing, we have a new Congress. There are seven senators and 52 members of the House who were elected for the first time this past November, and did not benefit from last year’s Congressional Conference meetings with NAIFA members.
We also have a new president and administration who have promised to reshape the country’s regulatory landscape and tackle big issues, like health care and tax reform. For the first time since 2011, there are majorities in both houses of Congress held by members from the same party as the president, so real action on tax reform is more likely than at any time in recent memory.
Fortunately, NAIFA is in a position to influence decisions that affect the success of every advisor, along with their clients and the entire insurance and financial services industry. In fact, one of President Trump’s early presidential memos led to the Department of Labor’s decision to delay the applicable date of the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule. The memo and the delay are a direct result of the efforts of NAIFA and our industry coalition partners. We are making a difference and will work with the DOL as it reviews the rule and with the administration as they work to do away with other burdensome regulations that harm your business.
We also have clout with members of Congress. Just last week, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access sought out NAIFA’s expertise for a hearing on cafeteria plans and pass-through businesses. NAIFA Treasurer Matt Tassey testified and urged Congress to consider expanding cafeteria plans to permit long-term-care insurance plans and to reconsider rules that prohibit certain businesses owners from participating in the plans. Decision makers on Capitol Hill are looking to NAIFA for guidance on issues that affect your business, our industry, and American consumers.
But when it comes down to it, NAIFA’s real political advocacy strength is our members and our unrivaled grassroots reach.
Our 2017 Congressional Conference is happening May 23-24. It is impossible for me to exaggerate the importance of this event. Congress and the president have made repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and reforming U.S. tax laws top priorities. Both of these efforts will greatly impact NAIFA members and your clients. We need to ensure that lawmakers hear our message loud and clear.
The Congressional Conference makes a lasting impression on members of Congress and their staffs. It gives a unified voice to advisors that resonates with lawmakers as they consider proposals that could have impacts, both positive and negative, on your business and your clients. Of course, the more advisors we take to Capitol Hill, the stronger that impression grows and the more influence we wield.
That’s where you come in. If you have not yet registered for NAIFA’s Congressional Congress, I urge to delay no more. Register today! If you have registered, thank you. And I strongly encourage you to invite as many of your advisor colleagues as you can to join us in Washington. All advisors are welcome, they don’t have to be NAIFA members (though, while you’re at it, you might encourage them to join NAIFA, as well).
Together we can make a difference, and I look forward to seeing you in Washington in May.