Now Is the Perfect Time to Get Involved in Our Ongoing Legislative Advocacy Initiatives
While Congress takes a recess in August each year, lawmakers are hard at work – especially during an election year. In fact, this summer hiatus may be your best opportunity to attract the attention of your elected representatives.
When they are in Washington, D.C., their schedules can get packed, often filled with committee hearings, appointments and staff meetings from dusk until dawn. August Recess is different.
Whether part of a gathering or in a one-on-one setting, a meeting with your elected officials gives you a rare opportunity to let them know what’s on your mind and influence the decisions that directly impact our space.
While our advocacy is a year-round endeavor, August Recess has always been a critical part of our efforts. Based on our experience – and despite the jaded view many might have of politics – most lawmakers are eager to interact with and respond to the concerns of their constituents.
Our approach to protecting the independent contractor status of our members, one of our important advocacy priorities, illustrates how effective in-person or virtual meetings can be.
At one point last year, the PRO Act posed a significant challenge to the industry. Thankfully, though, the bill never became law. In no small part, that was due to our advocacy, a considerable portion of which was devoted to meeting directly with lawmakers and making it clear how critical the independent business model is to our members and Main Street investors.
Even though the PRO Act failed, ongoing efforts are still underway to address how contract workers should be classified in light of the gig economy. Therefore, we need to keep educating members of Congress (and regulators) about the unique character of our industry and ensure they understand why one-size-fits-all legislation could end up harming the public’s ability to access affordable, objective and professional financial advice.
In the meantime, in-person and virtual meetings also played a role in the momentum on Capitol Hill around another one of our other huge priorities – retirement legislation. Indeed, each time we get a chance to meet with lawmakers, our members invariably stress the importance of passing legislation that protects Main Street investors and provides them a path toward retirement.
Beating that drum continually paid off earlier this year, when the House passed SECURE 2.0. We expect the Senate to finalize its own version of that proposal sometime after the mid-term elections and ultimately get a reconciled bill to the president by the end of the year.
Setting Up a Meeting
At the end of the day, you are your best spokesperson. You have a powerful story – and telling it directly to your congressperson or Senator will help them better understand the stakes for your business and the investing public.
Moreover, you don’t need to be a policy expert or a highly political person to meet with your representatives. Authenticity matters more, and FSI is here to help.
We can connect you with your elected officials through virtual roundtables, in-district meetings, Capitol Hill days and more. Your engagement is the best opportunity to weigh in on both near-term and future legislative actions.
And while the summer recess offers a prime opportunity for meetings, it’s important to remain engaged throughout the year to build relationships with lawmakers and serve as a valuable resource to them on issues impacting the industry, your business and clients’ access to advice. If you are interested in participating in meetings with your representatives, please contact us at email@example.com, and we can work to connect you.
Dale Brown is the President & CEO of the Financial Services Institute.