National Legislation Chair
– compiled by VFC 2nd Vice President Pat Taylor
National Legislation is at the heart of the NARFE organization. In our National Headquarters in Washington, DC, we have a legislative director and legislative specialists who constantly research bills and laws that may affect active and/or retired federal employees. In the Virginia Federation of Chapters (VFC), we have another level of assistance – Congressional District Liaisons (CDLs). The CDLs are NARFE members who are assigned to their respective Congressional District and who volunteer their time and efforts to work directly with members of Congress within their home district. These CDLs are asked to volunteer tremendous amounts of time in support of not only NARFE members but also other active and retired federal employees. They are the life line between chapters and their respective Congressmen, and they aid in building an even stronger defense and better offense against bad bills and laws affecting federal employees. CDLs are tasked with communicating with chapter members, with meeting with members of Congress, often assisting and leading the way, and they perform their responsibilities and duties with little or no thanks. They meet periodically and organize a discussion of our NARFE issues with their fellow CDLs, and help bring NARFE members together in a single, unified voice.
After the election on November 8th, there are changes in all levels of our government – and the new and returning members of Congress need to be contacted as soon as possible to discuss NARFE issues. There are many topics to be discussed, but one of the most pressing ones at present is the huge increase in premiums for Long Term Care coverage which many active and retired employees have been paying into for years. Only one health care provider bid on the LTC policy coverage, and their stance is that the costs have been much higher than anticipated and the higher premiums are justified. NARFE has stepped up to discuss this problem with OPM and with members of Congress. National NARFE President Dick Thissen has testified in several meetings at the Capitol, assisted by members of the National Legislation staff at Headquarters. It is imperative that NARFE members confront their respective Congressman about this problem and request their support in finding a fairer way to calculate premiums so that both active and retired members are not being pushed to the point of having to drop their coverage due to the cost!
NARFE has worked diligently to stave off the numerous attacks on federal employee and retiree benefits (i.e., the flawed postal reform bill that would have made Medicare Part B mandatory for retirees to retain their coverage under the FEHBP). Again, contacting members of Congress, making your voices heard is imperative.
Please contact your Congressional District Liaison and/or your chapter president to get contact information, determine how to best let your voice be heard, and remember that there is strength in numbers – unified we can get the attention of our respective members of Congress!! Remember that National Legislation is at the heart of the NARFE organization.
NOTE: NARFE 2017 Legislative Training Conference, March 12-15, 2017 – Alexandria, VA. Registration form must be completed and returned by February 10, 2017. See page 8 of the December issue of the NARFE Magazine for additional information or contact VFC 2nd VP Pat Taylor.
All CDLs are encouraged to attend!!!!
As to useful links for National Legislation you can’t beat the Library of Congress’ web site. You can find there just about anything and everything you need to know about legislation, including links to Congressional web sites and the U.S. Code.