Insight From – NRCA Legislative Initiative

Thought you might be interested in a recap of the events in Washington this week with the NRCA legislative initiative. First, this was a broad industry based effort well supported and attended by various industry groups (SPRI, RCI, ARMA, ERA, PIMA) and the major regional Contractor groups (FRSA, MRCA, WSRCA, NERCA). I believe our presence there was both noted and productive, having afforded me the opportunity to meet personally with Reid Ribble, Duane Musser, Nathan Pick, Carl Good and others in the NRCA organization; spend time with a number of contractors here in the Texas market and a few IB accounts;  as well as meet with several key RCI members and Board Members attending. Overall this was about as influential collection of companies and individuals in the roofing industry as you’ll see. The collaborative legislative issues pre-defined for discussion with Congressional and Senate members were:

  • Regulatory Reform
  • Workforce Development
  • Legal Immigration Reform

On Wednesday, we met as teams at the respective offices based on our various home districts, office districts and States in support of various legislation pending in these areas.

  • I met with Congressman Roger William’s (TX-25th District) legislative assistant with other attendees
  • Second meeting was with Senator Cornyn’s office with the entire Texas contingent, about 30 contractors, manufacturers, consultants
  • Third meeting was with Senator Cruz’s office with same Texas contingent
  • Last meeting was with Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24th District) for our office in Irving. He personally met with myself, and other manufacturer reps

Overall the meetings went well with support indicated for Regulatory Reform and Workforce Development legislation already pending or waiting approval by either the House or the Senate. Regulatory input from these offices indicated a general suspension of most further regulations under Trump, and a substantial potential for existing regulation rollback. New Silica work exposure regulations is high on NRCA’s list with various OSHA fall protection regulations; so expect further action on NRCA’s part to try to roll-back some of these. I had an opportunity both with Senator Cruz’s legislative assistant and with Congressman Marchant to include Code Development into that same discussion and urge for process changes to mandate a more Consensus Based approach to both. On the legal immigration and guest worker front, the reception was supportive but less committal. They understand the manpower shortage contractors and manufacturers are struggling with for finding basic workers as opposed to (high-tech, silicon valley types), but the political toxicity of the whole Immigration debate has made it almost impossible to publicly support any initiative that would INCREASE legal guest worker and legal immigration until the illegal variety is fixed. This is a true education issue with voters who need to know how many American jobs depend on access to adequate temporary or permanent foreign workers. Congressman Marchant in particular urged us as an industry to take a more active local political posture to attend Town Halls and the like to try and educate people that the roofing / construction industry doesn’t want amnesty or illegal immigration, but can’t grow without better access to workers. This is an issue IB should support and urge our customers to support. The NRCA conducted videotape interviews with several attendees to get feedback on the Roofing Day effort in general and how everyone’s meetings went, and plan to post these on their YouTube Channel with links to the NRCA website. I was one of those interviewed and they liked what I had to say, so there is a chance some of my interview may be one of those posted. Will keep an eye out and let you know if I have a new career in Social Media or not…   Regards, Phillip M. David, RRC, CDT