Earlier this year, two priority bills for small and family-owned businesses in the building supply industry reached the Senate floor for debate. NLBMDA-endorsed Small Business Health Plan legislation (S. 1955) and reform of the estate tax were both selected as “key votes” for the industry. However, this great opportunity quickly became disappointment when both pieces of legislation were blocked in procedural votes: Small Business Health Plans fell five votes short of the 60 votes needed to advance to debate and a final vote, while estate tax repeal was just three votes short. Because Senate rules allow the minority party to block further debate on issues without reaching that 60-vote threshold, we are currently operating under a system where the Senate cannot even debate critical issues such as these.
The fate of these bills underscores the necessity for an increased majority of pro-business legislators in both chambers of Congress, but especially in the Senate where numerous procedural roadblocks stand in the way of a bill on its way to final passage.
NLBMDA is working to create a more business-friendly environment on Capitol Hill in the 110th Congress. Our Lumber Dealers Political Action Committee (LuDPAC) is an important tool that allows us to provide financial support to candidates who support our shared legislative priorities. You can learn more by visiting our comprehensive government affairs Web site www.buildthevote.org. This site not only provides updates on current congressional actions impacting the building supply industry, you also can use it to see how well your individual representatives and senators are protecting the industry's interests and to view LuDPAC-endorsed candidates. To see how your senators and representatives stack up, click on the “Your Elected Officials and Voting Records” tab. Type in your ZIP code and a list of your legislators will pop up. Click on the legislator you are interested in to find not only the NLBMDA voting record for the 109th Congress, but also his or her vote and co-sponsorship of each individual industry-priority bill.
To learn more about how BuildtheVote.org can help you keep abreast on the latest industry actions on Capitol Hill, contact Laura Levitan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.634.8645.