Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) recently concluded its third successful Congressional Fly-In, May 18-19, again in cooperation with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Over 50 HARDI distributor and supplier members met in Washington, D.C. to hold a record-setting 161 meetings with legislators’ offices in barely eight hours.

This year’s event kicked off with the first-ever HARDI Energy Efficiency Exchange featuring an energy efficiency panel of AHRI’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, David Calabrese, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) president, Steven Nadel, and the Senior Counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Deborah Estes. This policy discussion was followed by an ENERGY STAR panel featuring Abigail Daken, product labeling, Ted Leopkey, quality installation, Chandler Von Shrader, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, and Sam Rashkin, ENERGY STAR New Homes.

A thorough lobbying day orientation session lead by advocacy guru, Stephanie Vance, preceded an extensive issue briefing which included the latest intelligence from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ (NAW) Senior Vice President- Government Relations, Jade West. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson then provided fantastic political insights as the evening’s keynote speaker.

Before heading off to Capitol Hill, Representatives Geoff Davis (R-KY04), Jason Altmire (D-PA04), Leonard Lance (R-NJ07), and Wally Herger (R-CA02) discussed key small business issues and thanked members for making their voices heard and being active participants in the political process. In their 161 meetings with House and Senate offices, HARDI advocated for an extension of the 25(c) residential tax credits, passage of an HVACR contractor-friendly Home Star and commercial-focused Building Star bills, correction in the depreciation period for HVACR equipment, long-term estate tax relief, continued opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, and support for the Last In, First Out (LIFO) accounting method. In some meetings, HARDI members also outlined how detrimental a Value Added Tax (VAT) would be to the economy, and especially to wholesale distributors.

In an energetic wrap-up session, HARDI distributors enthusiastically discussed next year’s Fly-In to which they vowed to encourage even more distributors to attend, and many indicated intent to bring their top contractor customers as well so they could advocate for their shared interests together.

For more information, visit www.hardinet.org.