We all know the difference one vote per precinct can make or one vote per committee or just one vote per congressional roll call. We all know the power one person holds when they seek to make a difference in a company or in Congress. The “Power of One” holds true for our legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. Maybe you have not felt that it was particularly important for you to vote on many occasions, but the truth is, you can make a difference – for your business, for SMACNA, for the industry.
Your vote on November 6th is the first step in supporting or replacing your members of Congress and it impacts how successful you we are in getting action on Capitol Hill for our industry priorities. As you know, it takes at least 218 votes in the House. In the Senate, with the filibuster more frequent than any time in history, action most often requires at least 60 votes. How do we get those votes? On November 6th it is your opportunity and obligation to act and vote for every office on the ballot and when the dust settles take SMACNA’s message to your Congressional delegation. Do this even before they are sworn in for the 116th Congress in January of next year.
As you contemplate your vote, please take into consideration these SMACNA priorities:
Pension reform – One important provision of pension reform has yet to pass. We need New Hybrid Plan Design enacted as soon as possible – composite plan designs would allow plans going forward to offer a lifetime benefit without the risk to employers that is in the current defined benefit system. To get it will take at least 219 House votes and the support of 60 senators.
Energy Legislation – We didn’t achieve all the results in energy efficiency tax incentives and efficiency program legislation we wanted this year. This is a key market area for contractors and we are lobbying for efficiency incentives in Congress.
Infrastructure – SMACNA has joined several energized coalitions dedicated to mobilizing support for modernizing airport, building, energy, defense and transit infrastructure financing. Our nation’s states and localities and national transportation systems must have the resources they need to remain competitive as thriving hubs of economic opportunity. Once again, your vote is important in making this happen.
As the election nears, it is important that you appreciate and understand the power of your vote to helping democracy function as the founders intended. Don’t become discouraged just because the legislative and political process often seems to take longer than we expect or appears misguided. Your vote and role in our democracy determines who will serve on Capitol Hill and support or oppose SMACNA’s agenda.
I recently heard a military veteran explain how disappointed he was that while he went half way around the world and risked his life to defend democracy, so few in the states seemed willing to go across their neighborhood to support its vitality by voting. While your vote is important to support SMACNA’s agenda on Capitol Hill, it is also important to a healthy functioning democracy. Please vote early, absentee or on election day for all the candidates up and down the ballot. Your vote is important to democracy and will help determine the Congress to soon take power this January on Capitol Hill.
* Find your state-by-state election dates and information here.