One of the most important events hosted by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association starts today with a new name and the organization’s most ambitious goals ever.
A record number of independent dealers from across the nation are converging on the nation’s capital for the National Policy Conference and Day on Capitol Hill — formerly known as the National Leadership Conference — NIADA’s annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with legislators and regulators.
The event, which runs through Wednesday, was renamed this year to reflect its overriding mission — making the voice of the independent dealer and small business heard and represented in shaping the policies of the federal government.
As in the past, the highlight is Wednesday's Day on Capitol Hill, when more than 180 dealers and industry partners representing the national association and its various state affiliates will participate in more than 100 meetings with members of Congress or their staff, advocating for the industry in support of tax reform, reforming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and repealing the CFPB’s arbitration rule, and against a blanket ban on sales of recalled vehicles by independent dealers.
Both of those numbers will be the most ever for NIADA's Washington conference.
In addition, NIADA will present its inaugural Legislator of the Year award at a reception Tuesday night at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington D.C. Legislators expected to attend include Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas). Afterward, the PAC Cup will be awarded to the NIADA region that contributed the most to the NIADA Political Action Committee over the past year.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) will be the featured speaker for Wednesday’s Power Lunch during the Day on the Hill.
The conference also includes a series of regulatory briefings Tuesday, including updates from the CFPB, the Federal Trade Commission, the Small Business Administration and, for the first time, the White House.
D.J. Gribbin of the National Economic Council and deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn are the scheduled speakers from the White House.
“NIADA is engaged in the legislative and regulatory process at the federal level year round,” NIADA chief executive officer Steve Jordan said. “That’s one of the association’s highest priorities. The National Policy Conference is the centerpiece of our efforts to serve as advocates for our members and the used vehicle industry.
“Four years ago, we felt it was important to come back to Washington D.C. and let independent dealers talk to legislators firsthand about who we are, what we do and what we represent. It’s very exciting to see this event grow, but we've only scratched the surface of its potential,” Jordan went on to say.