SMACNA is strongly urging House members to co-sponsor H.R. 2101, the Prior Approval Reform Act. H.R. 2101 was introduced by Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV) on April 17, 2017 and now has 16 cosponsors.
H.R. 2101 will repeal the prior approval requirement in section 316(b)(4)(D) of the Federal Election Campaign Act which singles out a small group of trade associations for excessive, costly, and time-consuming paperwork requirements that do not pertain to other membership organizations. The prior approval requirement mandates that corporate-member trade association political action committees (PACs) obtain written approval from member corporations before communicating about the PAC and/or soliciting their executive and/or administrative staff. Furthermore, despite corporations belonging to multiple trade associations, the prior approval requirement states that a corporation may grant prior approval to only one trade association PAC per calendar year.
Trade associations are unfairly and uniquely targeted because their PACs are the only political committees that must first obtain exclusive permission from member companies before communicating and soliciting eligible individuals for support. No other class of PAC, including corporate, labor union, and individual membership association, is subject to the onerous prior approval requirement. It makes no sense that they can be solicited by individual member PACs and outside groups, but not by the trade association in which they participate without their company's permission.
The prior approval requirement was enacted in 1971 and is an unnecessary, out-of-date, and confusing regulation without relevance today. Please become a cosponsor of H.R. 2101, and support efforts to repeal the prior approval requirement burdening trade associations’ PACs for nearly a half century.
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