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Examining the impact of the election…


The stunning results of last Tuesday’s election – a Trump presidency and GOP control of both the U.S. House and Senate – will have a significant impact on U.S. foreign and domestic policy, including several issues that could affect fraternals and their members. Late last week I met with representatives of Capitol Counsel, the Alliance’s federal legislative advocacy firm, and other financial services industry leaders to assess the potential ramifications of the election results and their impact on the Alliance’s advocacy strategy and initiatives.

Cleary, the specific outcomes of the election results on major policy issues are still in the “too early to tell” category. While everyone is expecting major shifts in policy priorities and direction, no one is quite certain what to expect — or which issue(s) the Trump Administration and the GOP-controlled Congress will tee up first. There are many to choose from, including immigration, health care, terrorism, taxes, infrastructure, and Supreme Court vacancies. The public policy “to do” list in the wake of the heated rhetoric of the contentious campaign is overwhelming, which makes it critical for the President-Elect and Congressional leaders to prioritize their policy objectives during the transition process that will take place over the next nine weeks.

The potential for significant tax reform – particularly focusing on repatriation of U.S. assets abroad and a reduction in the overall corporate tax rate – is almost certain to be a high priority under a Trump administration. What effect that may have on existing tax exemptions and tax preferences is yet to be determined. Alliance members can rest assured that staff and retained advocacy counsel are working diligently to develop a better understanding of tax reform proposals likely to be considered by the next Congress and to lay the groundwork for the Alliance’s efforts to shape public policy on this issue. Please review Capitol Counsel’s Post-Election Tax Update for more information on the tax issues that may arise during both the lame duck session that begins this week and the 2017 session.

In addition to tax reform, financial services industry leaders are optimistic that the most onerous provisions of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule and the Dodd-Frank Act may be amended or repealed. We will work closely with our allies in the industry community to ensure that the fraternal voice is heard on these issues and will alert members to developments as they occur.

Our proactive, pragmatic, and non-partisan advocacy efforts to promote awareness and affirm the value of the fraternal business model on the U.S. economy and on communities across the country will continue unabated. The financial services provided by fraternals and the community service projects initiated, funded, and facilitated by societies and their members benefit all Americans.

We will be reaching out to returning and newly-elected legislators over the next few months to let them know about the important work fraternals do across the country and — more importantly — in their backyards. We’ll also be asking member society representatives — from CEOs to local chapter leaders — to deliver this message to the legislators from their home states and districts.

It is because of those efforts that fraternals enjoy widespread support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The cumulative impact of these initiatives contributed significantly to our success in securing 106 co-sponsors for House Congressional Resolution 19 (the “Fraternal Resolution”) this year, and have raised the profile of the fraternal community among U.S. Representatives and Senators on both sides of the aisle. Ninety-four of those 106 co-sponsors will continue to serve as U.S. Representatives. Six co-sponsors retired; five lost re-election bids; and one — Todd Young (R-Indiana) — was elected to the Senate. We have a strong core of champions and supporters as we prepare for 2017, and we intend to expand that network next year.

The Alliance will keep members updated on legislative proposals and our strategy for outreach to political leaders in future blog posts and bulletins. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need more information about the election results or our advocacy initiatives.

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