NBFAA Joins Effort to Thwart Portion of Disclosure Bill


The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) joined with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to defeat a section of the lobby disclosure bill in H.R. 2316 that would have required associations to submit all of their membership lists if they have retained lobbyists.

Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., amended the bill to exempt all trade and professional associations in a committee mark-up session May 17. The exemption language now in the House bill is a direct result of association lobbying efforts, according to NBFAA.

Working with ASAE Senior Vice President for Public Policy James Clarke, NBFAA Director of Government Relations John Chwat argued to oppose Section 206 of the bill and to win an exemption for associations on the reporting requirement.

George Gunning, president of NBFAA, says the bill was introduced without public hearings or input from the association community.

“We felt strongly that the type of language contained in Section 206 would have placed an unreasonable burden on our association, and more importantly, would be a violation of the first amendment rights of our membership,” says Gunning. “Imagine having to submit our membership list to Congress just because we want our views represented? What an administrative nightmare to endure.”

NBFAA was one of the few associations to engage the effort on May 17 to support the ASAE’s opposition to Section 206. The ASAE represents all of the major trade and professional associations in the United States.

“While we support the government’s efforts at lobby reform, we believed it was necessary for NBFAA to quickly and decisively act to protect the well-being of our association and our members,” adds Gunning. “We are gratified to see that the provision will be amended to exempt all nonprofit 501(c) associations.”

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