The RV Industry Association recently completed its annual Committee Week in Washington, D.C., highlighted by Advocacy Day which puts industry representatives in front of leading legislators in Congress. The following, compiled by RVIA, provides the five main takeaways from Advocacy Day.
1. Increased Membership in House and Senate RV Caucuses
The members of the RV caucuses have provided support on important industry issues like electronic logging device, campground modernization and expansion, tariffs on steel and aluminum, harmonization of the U.S. and Canadian wire standards and pushing for the finalized HUD rule defining an RV.
As a direct result of Advocacy Day, an additional seven members of Congress have joined the RV caucuses:
- Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.-3)
- Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.-6)
- Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas-36)
- Rep. Julie Brownley (D-Calif.-26)
- Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.-6)
- Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas-17)
2. Increased Interest from Vice President Pence’s Policy Team on Key Industry Issues
On Advocacy Day, members of the RV industry met with Matt Morgan and Eleni Roumel, the counsel and deputy counsel to Vice President Pence who reported that the concerns of the RV industry are being heard within the Trump administration.
On the tariff issue it was explained that the administration continues to look at the big picture, but they are certainly aware that there is pain occurring as a result of the tariffs. The policy team was interested in comments about the price of domestic raw materials increasing and the potential profiteering occurring and said it is important that the voices of industry, like the RV industry, continue to make their voice heard on this issue.
The meeting also focused on nontariff issues. The Pence policy team was receptive to messaging on the lack of a HUD Rule as well as the issue with the floorplan tax deduction issue. RV Industry Association staff provided additional follow-up briefing materials on both issues.
As a direct result of Advocacy Day and the meeting, the senior policy team was made aware of the industry initiative to include a recreation title in any infrastructure bill. Pence’s team was particularly interested in this issue which will create opportunities for follow-up meetings between the RV industry and the White House.
3. Increased Co-Sponsors for Recreation Not Red Tap Act (S.1633 and H.R.3400)
The Recreation Not Red Tape Act makes recreation a priority on federal lands by removing barriers to outdoor recreation experiences and makes it easier for more Americans and international visitors to enjoy America’s public lands and waters. Specifically, for the RV industry, the bill extends the recreation season to help with campground overcrowding.
As a direct result of Advocacy Day, three members of Congress have been added as cosponsored the bills:
- Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
- Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-2)
- Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.-6)
RVIA expects this number to grow as Advocacy Day participants and the RVIA’s Federal Affairs team continue with follow-up meetings and emails.
4. Increased Trust and Confidence Between the RV Industry and NHTSA
During Advocacy Day, 23 RV Industry Association members attended the visit to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to meet with staff from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The visit reinforced the trust and confidence growing between the industry and NHTSA and that moving forward, problems can be tackled together to ensure the safety of RVs.
As a direct result of Advocacy Day, NHTSA officials were apprised of factors the RV industry faces with recall management which had not been previously considered. RV Industry Association members left with a better understanding of NHTSA as not just the regulators but also a resource that can help the industry.
5. Increased Co-Sponsors for the National Park Restoration Act (S.2509 or H.R.5210)
The proposed National Park Restoration Act is an innovative solution to help overcome the more than $11 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks by creating the National Park Restoration Fund. This bill would provide funding for maintenance backlog and priority projects at national parks. Specifically, for the RV industry this fund will support campground modernization and address deteriorating, inadequate or closed roads, bridges and campgrounds that negatively impact RVers.
As a direct result of Advocacy Day, Walorski has co-sponsored the bill. RVIA expects this number to grow as Advocacy Day participants and the RV Industry Association Federal Affairs team continue with follow-up meetings and emails.