Winter 2014 Newsletter

Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee newsletter

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the Fraternity and Sorority P o l i t i c a l a c t i o n c o m m i t t e e Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω winter 2014 Preserving the Greek experience for future generations of student leaders I n the early days of 2014, there is a transi- tion going on in Washington that impacts several of the FSPAC's policy agenda items. Let's start with "CHIA," the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (H.R.1449/S.654). As of January 1, we have 70 sponsors in the House of Representatives and eight in the Senate, mak- ing us among the more popularly supported tax measures in both chambers of Congress. Our best chance for passing CHIA in this Congress remains the opportunity to attach it to a broad- based tax reform bill. We have also been working as part of a very large coalition of not-for-profit organizations to preserve the full value of the charitable deduction in the tax code. Some elected officials have called for those deductions to be capped for the very people who are traditionally the largest donors to our organizations. Tax RefoRm The prognosis for tax reform in 2014 remains uncertain. House Republicans delayed plans to introduce a reform bill in the fall of 2013, but will do so around March 1, even though there is no clear path to passage this year. In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT/ΣΑΕ) resigned in February to become Ambassador to China. Incoming Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has significantly different views on tax reform from Senator Baucus and thus may be inclined to restart the review and analysis process, which almost certainly delays action into 2015 and the next Congress. If the House doesn't move on a bill in 2014, there will be a new chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee as current Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) is term-limited in that position. The front-runner to be the next chairman of Ways and Means is current Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-OH/ΔΤΔ). It is also possible that Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX/ΛΧΑ) could be the Ways and Means chairman in 2015, but that is considered a long-shot given Congressman Ryan's influence inside the Republican conference. Congressman Ryan and Congressman Brady are among the strongest CHIA supporters in the House over the last decade, so the chances remain good for that legislation passing Congress as part of a broader tax reform bill when one of them becomes chairman. oTheR Key Issues Later this spring, Congress is also expected to ramp up the process for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. We are monitoring several provisions in the law of importance to the fraternity and sorority community, including those related to freedom of association, enforcement of hazing laws, and due process rights for students in on-campus judicial proceedings. For example, a new bill that would deny federal financial aid to students convicted of felony hazing was introduced in late January by Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL). The Fraternal Government Relations Coalition–consisting of the FSPAC, the NIC and the NPC–has been working with Congress on these issues and will continue to be active in the months ahead. Given the Congressional calendar, it is possible these issues will be a focus of the spring 2014 Congressional visits by national fraternity and sorority leaders and students in late April. LooKIng foRwaRd In sum, the FSPAC continues to pursue the public policy issues that make the biggest impact on the fraternity experience today and in the future. Your support of the FSPAC provides the manpower and the message needed to win these fights across multiple years of action. We believe momentum and political conditions make it likely some of these issues will finally begin to move through the quagmire of the current legislative process. At that point, when our issues are part of the final bill, our years of hard work will all be worth it and future generations will enjoy the fraternal experience. legislative Update FSPac Pursues Public Policy issues that impact Greek experience The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee is a bipartisan organization that supports the election of federal candidates interested in preserving the fraternity and sorority experience for future generations of student leaders. It advocates for public policy objectives that will allow students and alumni/alumnae to benefit from the academic, community and leadership development opportunities made available through the fraternity and sorority community. Mission Statement Fraternity & Sorority PAC Colin Hood, ΔΣΦ , Kayu Muigai, ΔΣΦ , JoAnna Adkisson, ΚΑΘ , and Laurie McGregor Connor, K ΑΘ

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