June 2010: Government Affairs


Government Affairs

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Legislative Conference 2010 Recap

This year’s fly-in was a resounding success, and a big thank you is in order for those MCAA members who made the trip to Washington, D.C., for the May 5 and 6 trip. MCAA members met with more than 40 offices to discuss some of the most pressing industry issues: 3 percent withholding, estate tax, military construction, immigration reform, employee misclassification, and others. We also appreciate the support and participation of our industry colleagues, the National Concrete Masonry Association and the Building Stone Institute.

Highlighting our trip were the presentations of the first-ever MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Award. The MCAA created the award to provide specific recognition to members of Congress that have embraced the spirit of the award and led the legislative fight for MCAA priorities.
The award simply embodies the following:

As an association of small businesses, MCAA is committed to protecting a favorable business climate in which our members can grow and prosper. American small business is one of the world’s largest economies, with nearly six million small employers, 90 percent of which employ fewer than 20 people.

However, federal regulations and policies continue to assault the freedoms of the small business owner and threaten economic and job growth. Regulatory costs, tax complexity and compliance, and intrusive laws and mandates passed by Congress will discourage new small business creation and curtail job growth and economic opportunity.

The MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Award recognizes Members of Congress who have championed pro-small business policies supported by the MCAA. Recipients understand that MCAA member companies, free from regulatory burden, can focus on growing their businesses and providing jobs, which will strengthen the U.S. economy and allow everyone to prosper.

The 2010 MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Award recipients are: Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX), Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator David Vitter (R-LA), and Senator John Thune (R-SD).

Coming off the battle of healthcare reform and stymied by financial services reform, Congress has not been active on many pressing issues early in 2010. However, the annual appropriations bills must be passed, as must be the defense bill. Immigration reform has garnered a lot of press, especially in light of the recent Arizona state law. And Congress must consider various tax measures that have lapsed, including the estate tax and other incentives aimed at helping small businesses. With these looming issues ahead, we can expect Congress to be busy during the summer and attempt to finish as much work as possible before the November elections. The MCAA must remain active in promoting our priorities and seeking opportunities to advance our legislative agenda.

Matthew B. Keelen, CEO and president of The Keelen Group, and Michael J. Falencki, COO and VP of policy, operate a government relations/lobbying, consulting and strategic services practice in Washington, D.C.

Norma Jean Bounds; Congressman Chet Edwards; and MCAA President Mackie Bounds
Congressman Chet Edwards received the award, due to his leadership on and support for the use of increased life-cycle cost estimates in military construction contracts.

Legislative Conference 2010 Recap
Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Sen. David Vitter; and MCAA President Mackie Bounds
Senator David Vitter sits on the Senate Small Business Committee and is an original sponsor of S. 292, a bill to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities.

Legislative Conference 2010 Recap
Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Congressman Wally Herger; MCAA President Mackie Bounds; MCAA Executive Director Jeff Buczkiewicz
Congressman Wally Herger is the lead sponsor of H.R. 275, a bill to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities.

Legislative Conference 2010 Recap
Matt Keelen, The Keelen Group; Calvin Brodie, Brodie Contractors; Mackie Bounds, MCAA President; Sen. Ben Nelson; Jeff Buczkiewicz, MCAA Executive Director; Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Mark Kemp, Superior Masonry
Senator Ben Nelson remains a champion of small business issues and fiscal restraint.

Matt Keelen, The Keelen Group; Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Mark Kemp, Superior Masonry; Sen. John Thune; Mackie Bounds, MCAA President; Jeff Buczkiewicz, MCAA Executive Director
Senator John Thune is a rising star in the Senate Republican leadership, and adheres to fiscal responsibility and supports growth of small businesses.

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