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MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Andy Sneed and Bryan Foster
MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Andy Sneed and Bryan Foster
July 4, 2014 7:00 AM CDT

MCAA hits ‘The Hill’

Legislative Conference wrap-up

By

The MCAA held its annual South of 40 Conference and Legislative Conference in May in Washington, D.C. A healthy attendance at all events made the week a resounding success.

Kicking off the week on Tuesday, May 20, was the South of 40 Conference. Attendees gathered in front of the Capitol Building, where they were met by Mary Oehrlein, historic preservation officer, Office of the Architect of the Capitol, who offered a U.S. Capitol Stone Repair Tour. Oehrlein led attendees around the exterior of the Capitol, explaining the different types of repairs, cleaning and restoration occurring around the building. (Look for a special article covering these repairs in an upcoming issue of Masonry.)

The South of 40 Conference also included educations seminars on masonry ordinances, delivered by the Texas Masonry Council’s Rudy Garza; bricklaying robots, delivered by Scott Peters of Construction Robotics; and swarm bots, delivered by Professor Michael Silver, University of Buffalo.

The day was crowned by a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol Building. Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin gave South of 40 Conference attendees a private tour that included special access and a wealth of information. Some South of 40 Conference participants attended various Congressional fundraisers in the evening, and a few found the time to take in a Washington Nationals baseball game that night. It was a busy day, to say the least.

Moving and shaking on The Hill

Bright and early on Wednesday morning, Legislative Conference attendees met for a strategy breakfast and issues briefing at Bullfeathers restaurant. The Keelen Group’s Stephen Borg assured that conference attendees were prepared for a full day of visiting representatives and senators. More than 100 meetings took place during two days, thanks to the efforts of The Keelen Group in organizing and setting meetings for attendees.

The MCAA bestowed the Freedom and Prosperity Award to three Congressmen, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC); Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL); Rep. Brett Guthrie, (R-KY); and Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-FL).

The Freedom and Prosperity Awards were created to recognize Members of Congress who have championed pro-small business policies supported by 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.

MCAA positions to Members of Congress

The MCAA makes a difference for its members every year by sitting front and center in the offices of our Members of Congress, explaining our positions on several important bills. Bills or concerns include: repeal of the 3% Government Withholding Tax; repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax; opposition of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act; opposition of Bid Shopping; support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform; support of Concrete Masonry Checkoff; opposition of new Crystalline Silica regulation from OSHA; repeal of the Estate Tax; support of incorporating life-cycle costs into Military Construction (MILCON); improved enforcement of laws re: Misclassification of Employees at Independent Contractors; support of a broad-based approach to National Energy Policy; support of Pension Reform; support of Rebounding The Highly Skilled Workforce; non-support of unnecessary Regulation/Agency Rulemaking; support of School Construction; and support of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

You can learn where the MCAA officially stands on these positions by visiting www.masoncontractors.org/positions.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.


About the Author

Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.

 

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