WFLA Members Help Fraternal Societies Respond to Senators!


Due to the recent budget discussions in the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee created a “blank slate” tax reform proposal. The Senate Finance Committee’s “blank slate” tax reform proposal “operates from an assumption that all special [tax] provisions are out unless there is clear evidence that they: 1) help grow the economy, 2) make the tax code fairer, or 3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.” The leaders of the Finance Committee – Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) – asked their colleagues in the Senate to provide them feedback on which tax preferences should be preserved. To refresh your memory, here are some recent news stories and editorial coverage of the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal.

Many thanks to our wfla members who responded to the Senate Finance Committee’s “blank slate” approach to tax reform by sending letters to their state’s senators in Washington, D.C. through the American Fraternal Alliance website. The American Fraternal Alliance, formed in 1886, unites the not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies operating in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Alliance member societies represent nearly 10.5 million individuals, making it one of America’s largest member-volunteer networks.

With the combined national efforts of fraternal society leaders, the Alliance Senate “blank slate” Campaign proved to be a tremendous success. As of July 26, when the website closed, 3,536 individuals had sent more than 7,000 emails to senators explaining all the volunteer activities and charitable dollars they provide to communities around the country.  Each senator from all 50 states was contacted at least once during this campaign. Fifty societies participated in letter writing and more CEOs of these societies reached out to their Senators on their own.

Also impressive were the hundreds of email responses from Senate offices, including staffers, acknowledging their awareness of, and support for fraternals. Several responses cited personal visits between fraternal executives and legislators during the Alliance’s 2013 “Day on the Hill” event held in conjunction with the President’s Mid-Year Meeting in Washington D.C.

Thanks again to everyone who helped play a role in educating U.S. Senate leadership about the important volunteer work that wfla members do every day!

Joe Annotti’s President Blog was used for the information in this blog.

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