NAIFA’s Virtual Congressional Conference, May 25-26, was an overwhelming success, with more than 1,300 registered participants. These insurance and financial advisors received advocacy training, benefited from policy briefings, and heard words of encouragement from Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Darin LaHood (R-IL), as well as NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux and American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Susan Neely.
The highlight of the event was a virtual Day on the Hill, with NAIFA’s advocates from every state connecting with their Senators and congressional staff. In nearly 100 virtual meetings, insurance and financial professionals told important stories about how they provide financial security to Main Street families and small businesses and how legislation like the PRO Act, SECURE Act 2.0, and tax proposals affect their clients’ wellbeing.
Members of Congress Appreciate NAIFA Members
Sen. Tim Scott told Congressional Conference attendees that his experience prior to being elected to Congress as an employer and small business owner running an Allstate insurance agency prepared him to be a better Senator.
“I’ve been in your shoes and I know what you need to succeed,” said the former NAIFA member. “The work you do as life insurance and financial advisors has a specific and direct impact on the economic wellbeing of the financial security of the people in your communities.”
The Senator praised financial professionals for bolstering American families through financial difficulties caused by the pandemic and for improving the financial literacy of consumers.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy also has some experience in financial services and appreciates the work NAIFA members do and their role as advocates.
“There is so much that we do in Washington that can have impacts on the work you are doing out in the field, but we may not know it,” Rep. Murphy said. “I don’t know how many members of Congress are actually experts on the insurance industry, so it’s important to hear from people who are on the front lines, who are on the ground, about the challenges and the opportunities for the industry as well as receive feedback about proposed legislation that might be well intended but have unintended consequences.”
“It’s important that your members are able to articulate the impact that your products and services have on everyday Americans,” she added. “We want to make sure that when we’re hearing from our constituents or from industry advocates that they are articulating the stories that they are seeing on the ground and do so in a way that humanizes the discussion so that you’re not talking about financial instruments or insurance, per se, but what does that mean for families.”
Murphy’s appreciation extended to the services insurance and financial professionals provided Americans impacted by COVID-19.
“This last year has been a hard year for our community and our country, and there has been loss,” she said. “The work that you all have done has really helped people through a tough moment. So I just want to say thank you to all the professionals [NAIFA] represents who might be wondering if their members of Congress understand what it is they’re doing.”
Rep. LaHood expressed similar appreciation. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the work that financial professionals have done to support local communities in my district has been vital to keeping families and small businesses afloat,” he said.
He encouraged NAIFA members to continue meeting with members of Congress and serving as a resource on issues that affect families in his district in Illinois and communities across the country.
“Your advocacy to members of Congress across the political spectrum is vital to the work Congress does,” he said. “One of the most important things I take into consideration when cosponsoring or introducing legislation is the support it has from my constituents. Your advocacy is an essential piece of policymaking, and I would encourage each of you to continue to engage with your member of Congress to educate them on the issues that are important to you and your industry.”