Surety Bond Quarterly - Spring 2015 - (Page 28)

Feature ACHIEVE Political Success! When pursuing legislation, it is best not to go it alone AFTER PRESENTING THE merits of a bill to a congressional staff person or member of Congress, you may have received this question: "Can you tell me who opposes this legislation?" Even though it may appear that Democrats and Republicans disagree on many issues, from healthcare to social security, congressional offices try to mitigate confrontation with political organizations, associations and other groups whenever possible. The question may reveal their aversion to confrontation on the issue. Keeping this in mind, the best way to achieve political success may be to form a coalition, demonstrating broad support across an industry or industries. Consider the most recent, 113th Congress, where over 10,000 bills were introduced but only 296 of those were enacted into law. The 113th Congress is on record as among the least productive sessions in six decades, only eclipsed by the 112th Congress, in which 283 laws were enacted. Incidentally, some of the bills enacted were ceremonial, such as renaming government postal facilities. Clearly, legislative activity levels in the 113th Congress were not exactly of the magnitude of earthshattering policy making. NASBP and 13 other organizations that are part of the Construction Procurement Coalition (Coalition) support a comprehensive bill that will hopefully be part of the presumably select group of bills that will be enacted into law in the 114th Congress. The Coalition has 28 members that at times have differed on legislative matters. However, recognizing that there is strength in numbers and volume in voices united in message, members of the Coalition set their differences aside to focus on issues they could agree on with a goal of enacting meaningful legislation. The result of their collaboration was creation of a comprehensive bill introduced in the 113th Congress that provides a framework for growth in the construction industry and more efficient federal government procurement through simple, nocost-to-the-government solutions. Specifically, the bill addresses limitations on use of reverse auction procurement for design and construction services for all federal agencies, encourages use of twophase procurement of design-build project delivery, helps to prevent fraud by providing financial certainty to assets that support individual surety bonds, and increases the guarantee from 70% to 90% to sureties that participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration Surety Bond Guarantee Preferred Program. Additionally, the bill would require bonds on federal public-private partnership (P3) projects and would eliminate periodic threshold increases to the federal Miller Act. Members of the Coalition are already working to gain supporters in the 114th Congress. Representatives from the Coalition members agree that pursuing legislation through a broad-based coalition is beneficial. SURETY BOND QUARTERLY | SPRING 2015 Thus far, the Coalition has met with staff on select congressional committees that have jurisdiction over the provisions in the bill, which include the committee staff of Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Counsel and Director of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business. The Coalition will meet with staff representing the House Committees on Oversight & Government Reform and Armed Services and the Senate Committees on Homeland Security & Government Affairs and Armed Services. Louis J. Jenny, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the Design-Build Institute of America, said, "When there is agreement on policy goals, coalitions give added strength to  smaller players who often don't have resources of the larger members, and give larger players a stronger argument that the goals are widely supported." According to E. Colette Nelson, Chief Advocacy Officer at the American Subcontractors Association, Inc. (ASA), "The Coalition makes life easier for legislators and their staff by  assuring that they won't face opposition from their constituents in the industry." Continuing in the strength-innumbers approach, last year NASBP joined the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), a coalition of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Spring 2015

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2014-2015 NASBP Executive Committee
From the CEO - Is 114 Our Lucky Number?
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know About Construction Claims Prevention
Value Added - Surety Industry Proves its Worth When Projects Hit Snags
Developing Leadership Skills and Future Leaders
Profile of US Rep. Richard Hanna and His Views on Construction Credibility
The Court Decides …Differing Court Views on the Surety's Non-Response to a Claim Within the Payment Bond's Prescribed Time Period
Rules and Regulations - Company's "Improper Conduct" Regarding Procurement Laws Leads to Investigation
Achieve Political Success! - When Pursuing Legislation, it is Best Not to Go it Alone
NASBP on Capitol Hill - Register for the June 9-10 NASBP Fly-in
Teaching for the Future - 2015 NASBP Winter School Continues Tradition of Learning Excellence
2015 NASBP Annual Meeting & Expo
Use of P3s for Small Infrastructure Projects: A Personal Perspective
NASBP 2014 Highlights – Year In Review
Index to Advertisers

Surety Bond Quarterly - Spring 2015