The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
April 2nd, 2018

Top Takeaways from the WDMA Legislative Conference

The WDMA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., is one of my favorite events of the year. It combines education with the opportunity to advocate for our industry during in-person meetings with members of Congress, agency leaders and political strategists. It’s where we can make sure our collective voice is heard with those who can make a difference.

This year’s conference, held March 19-21, was once again well organized, smart and focused on just two areas where it feels it can make the greatest impact for our industry: regulatory reform and Energy Star funding. This focused approach was different from years past – and it worked.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend personally, here’s a summary of what you missed:

 Regulatory Reform

This is not a new topic for WDMA, which has been an advocate for regulatory reform for several years – even before the current administration took power. It is a topic that not only resonates with lawmakers, but it is an area that is within their control.

According to the executive summary provided by WDMA, Congress is considering several pieces of legislation “to ensure a fair and sound process is followed for the extensive and costly rulemaking that occurs today.” Conversations at the event urged lawmakers to vote yes on several pieces of legislation that would provide a more comprehensive set of rulemaking requirements when developing and implementing federal regulations.

Based on conversations I had, I expect to see progress in this area.

Energy Star Funding

WDMA’s position on the matter is that it “… strongly encourages continued congressional support for the funding for the Energy Star program in the House and Senate. Congress should oppose any funding requirements making changes that are not demonstratively warranted and are not supported by Energy Star program partners. Congress should also oppose elimination of funding for the program or funding reductions that negatively impact critical product programs such as that for windows, doors, and skylights.”

Many Energy Star products are imported, but residential windows are among a class that are made almost exclusively in North America. I was pleased to find that this fact was not lost among the congressional members I met with. It was also evident in budget proceedings, where members on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate were supportive of funding the program, albeit at lower levels than previous budgets.

The View from Here is that it was an encouraging few days in Washington. WDMA is a strong voice representing manufacturers of fenestration products, and they continue to do an excellent job. After all, we have a responsibility to advocate for our people, our companies and our industry.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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