NU Online News Service, April 26, 11:50 a.m. EST
WASHINGTON—A Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee implored the Senate to act on passage of a five-year National Flood Insurance Program extension that includes reforms to the program.
Speaking yesterday to independent agents during the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association Legislative Conference and Convention being held here this week, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., says passing extension bill has not been an issue in the House of Representatives.
The House, he says, has passed authorization to extend the flood insurance program for five years under both Democratic and Republican control during the four years Schock has been in Congress.
As part of the lobbying effort independent agents will be doing on Capitol Hill today, Schock asks the agents to tell their Senate representatives to “get off their duff and get something done over there. Maybe pass the budget too.”
Schock’s comments focused on the influence IIABA and its members have with their representatives.
He says IIABA was effective in defeating the creation of a Federal Charter aimed at allowing insurers to bypass state regulators. He adds that having a strong Political Action Committee in InsurPac “makes it easier to convince” Congressional representatives that have not made a decision on issues.
He told attendees that their participation in the political process “can make the difference” in the outcome of any election and that agents need to remain engaged in the process, including making contributions to InsurPac.
“I want to thank you also for your participation with your PAC,” says Schock. “I say that not because it is about me, but because it is about you. The contributions you make to this PAC are really an investment in you and your livelihood. And rest assured, based on the outcomes of these efforts for and against your issues, those who are on the opposite side of your issue are well organized and well funded.
“And so it behooves you to be in this game, to be engaged, to be contributing not only your capital but also your time and energy to make sure that Congress gets these issues right.”
Touching on the issue of tax reform, Schock says there is a bi-partisan effort to reduce the corporate-tax rate and eliminate all deductions. Republicans propose a rate of 25 percent and Democrats are looking at 28 percent.
He says his committee “is pretty close to getting something done” on corporate-tax reform.
However, a proposal to reduce small business, individual tax rates to 10 percent “is more difficult” because of all the deductions in place.
The goal, he says, is to finish putting a bill together by the end of this year and getting the House to pass it by 2013 “regardless of the President we have to work with.”
However, he accuses President Barack Obama of standing in the way of reform, saying that the Buffett Rule the President has endorsed “makes it more difficult” to get reform passed.
He says the issue in Congress over tax reform has “more to do with the President than Republicans and Democrats in Congress.”
As for the Presidential election, he says the outcome will hinge on the state of the economy come November and how secure Americans feel.
“This will be a referendum on the President,” says Schock. “It is always about the incumbent.”