NLBMDA’s Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference kicked off Monday, April 1. This annual event focuses on bringing lumber dealer executives and industry service providers from across the United States to Washington, D.C. to advocate on critical issues impacting the industry and to serve as the
of the industry on Capitol Hill.
Day one started with a Lumber Dealers Political Action Committee (LuDPAC) Lu
ncheon featuring Jake Sherman, Senior Writer for Politico. Sherman s
hared his exclusive insights into President Trump’s first two years in the White House and provided candid responses to questions from attendees.
Following the luncheon, attendees had a chance to sit in on a discussion with Marc Freedman, Vice President of Employment Policy, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who discussed labor and employment issues, along with some of the key players in Washington. Up next was Ken Monahan, Director for International Economic Affairs, from the National Association of Manufacturers, who discussed trade and tariff issues, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
On Tuesday, the day began with the Washington Briefing Breakfast featuring Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Congressman John Curtis (R-UT).
Howard discussed housing affordability issues and how that could factor into the 2020 elections and how NAHB is devoting significant resources to this. He also discussed burdensome regulations and how worker shortages are factoring into housing issues.
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), elected in 2017, discussed his observations as a business owner and new member of Congress with the group. Curtis touched on the positives he has witnessed in Congress and how there is still bipartisanship despite the perceptions in the news.
Following the breakfast briefing, attendees had the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate NLBMDA positions on key issues to members of Congress during the NLBMDA Issues Briefing session. This session was led by NLBMDA's President & CEO, Jonathan Paine and the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association's Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Kirk Ives.
Conference attendees then went to Capitol Hill and met with lawmakers regarding the Qualified Improvement Property Fix, the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act, strengthening the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and renewal of the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement. In total, NLBMDA members visited over 160 offices. The conference was capped off with a reception on Capitol Hill.
Thank you to all attendees, leadership, staff and especially sponsors for making the conference a success. NLBMDA looks forward to building on the legislative momentum established by its members in the months to come.