In A Year Of Critical Issues, AALU Says Access To Lawmakers Is Critical
The past year has been a turbulent one in the legislative arena, according to speakers at this year’s annual meeting of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting.
With estate tax reform and the new split dollar notice, the association, based in Falls Church, Va., has been very busy making sure the voices of its members are heard, they said.
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Over a year ago the idea of a death tax repeal was sweeping the nation, with the support of Congress and the President. AALU was the only organization to take a look at the position seriously to see if it made sense to our country, said Campbell Gerrish, president of AALU, during his opening comments here.
“We recognized that the estate tax has been repealed and reinstated four different times in the history of this country,” said Gerrish.
“As a result, we came to the conclusion that repeal was ephemeral but reform could be permanent,” he said.
AALU formed a task force that brought people together from different organizations to form an alliance to take a good look at the question of estate tax reform.
“We don’t agree on everything, but on the issues we do agree on, we have become a real force here in Washington,” he said.
Gerrish explained the real benefit of supporting AALU is the access the organization has to lawmakers in Washington. AALU raised about $950,000 this year for their endorsed candidate program. “People in Congress know about the endorsed candidate program and they come to us to find out more about it–that makes a tremendous difference in our access to these people when we need them,” said Gerrish.
“Our support is what gains us access in Washington, and it is our ideas that allow us to have influence,” he said.
Gerrish gave a vignette illustrating just how much access AALU has: Just before last years annual meeting he was called into an unscheduled session with the chairman of the Senate Finance committee and had a discussion on the issues immediately prior to the committee going into conference.