December 2014

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22 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | December 2014 Election Analysis The 2013-2014 election cycle was the most successful in the history of AED's government affairs program. Considerable credit goes to the 68 equipment industry leaders who stepped up to the plate and supported AED's Political Action Committee (AED PAC) over the past two years.* The more than $150,000 they contributed to AED PAC in 2013 and 2014 allowed us to support a record 73 House and Senate candidates around the country. Much of that money was delivered in 2014 by AED members personally at 50 "ImPACt" meetings with candi- dates. Those meetings are critical to building AED's grassroots organization and strengthening the relationship between candidates, equipment dealers, and AED. Of course, a banner year for AED's political program does not guarantee success on the lobbying front, but it has dramatically raised the visibility of the equipment industry in the eyes of candidates and congressional leaders. Knowing that our members are an important economic and political force "back home" will at a minimum ensure that AED's positions get a fair hearing on Capitol Hill. Whether we win or lose on the issues will depend on how aggressively and effectively we make our case and how engaged dealers around the country are in our grass- roots efforts. What's Next? At the time of this writing, still early November, the dust from the election was still settling, and not all the races had been called. That being said, we can already draw a few conclusions from the midterm election results. More moderate Rs will make Boehner's job easier. Next year, of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, approximately 245 will be Republicans. That's the biggest House majority since the Truman administration. Having more GOP votes will make House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) job easier because he will not have to rely on every Republican member to gather the 218 votes needed to pass legislation. Also significant is the fact that at least 18 of the new members of Congress are Main Street Republicans, who hold less extreme views about the role of government than their tea party colleagues at the other wing of the GOP conference. McConnell faces tough balanc- ing act. Republicans are also now in charge on the other side of Capitol Hill. The GOP's new Senate majority means control of the agenda and committee chairmanships, but incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still has his work cut out for him. Although on paper he has 54 Republican votes, several are tea party adherents like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have demonstrated a propensity to buck their own party's leaders. That means McConnell will likely have to reach across the aisle and work with moderate Democrats on some legislation. Since he has promised a less authoritarian approach than current AED PAC shattered election records – here's what members' grassroots work will mean for the equipment distribution industry in 2015. BY CHRISTIAN A. KLEIN Congressional Makeover Positions Distributors for Success (continued on page 24)

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