2018 D.C. Fly-In
Our Annual D.C. Fly-in this year was sponsored by CBA Companies (Comprehensive Benefits Administration) of Norwell. The trip was led by Chamber Chairman George Toma of George Washington Toma, Vice-Chair Jim Dunphy of South Shore Bank, Gov. Affairs Committee Chair Deirdre Savage of Blue Cross and CBA President Mike McKenna. In addition to meetings with Senators Warren and Markey and Congressmen Keating and Lynch we met with the U.S. Chamber and Smart Growth America—a non-profit focused on smart land use policies to promote infrastructure and housing.
Some of the messages heard and conveyed:
- Expect only a short-term extension on Flood Insurance as everyone anticipates a change in committee leadership-regardless of whether or not control of the House flips. The U.S. Chamber has now lined up for extension of Flood insurance.
- While healthcare costs continue to weigh on small businesses Congress is suffering battle fatigue on the issue and not eager to re-engage for some time—leaving it up to the Administration and states to lead any real movement.
- We continue to press the case for regulatory relief on community banks. None of our delegation voted in favor of the recently passed amendments but it is clear that Congress is hearing from business voices that the regulatory overreach is having unintended consequences on Main Street. Sen. Warren’s take was that the reform efforts will actually increase the pressure on consolidation and cost us more community banks. Congressman Lynch offered to participate in another Chamber sponsored forum with our banking community.
- We discussed our housing agenda with our Congressman and Senators. Housing is more of a state issue but it tied in with discussion on infrastructure. There was strong skepticism of the President’s approach which calls for larger local/state funding and smaller federal contributions than traditional models.
We had a lengthy meeting with Smart Growth America. We came away more convinced that our key strategies for growth with South Shore 2030 are correct but that other cities, counties and states are far ahead of the South Shore in their strategies to compete for growth.