Capitol Hill

A unified voice

The Political Insiders Council (PIC) is the major donor program of NRCA's political action committee, ROOFPAC, and available to NRCA members who make personal commitments to ROOFPAC of $5,000 per year—the maximum donation allowable by law. The council was established in 2005 and now has 20 members, giving ROOFPAC the financial support necessary for NRCA to be proactive on a number of high-profile issues in Washington, D.C., not the least of which is comprehensive immigration reform.

A compromise

The first Washington fly-in for PIC members took place May 16-19, and the timing could not have been better to have the maximum effect on the immigration issue in Congress. In fact, it was on May 17, with PIC members gathered in the office of Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), that the senator, who until then had resisted immigration reforms advocated by NRCA, burst into the office exclaiming, "The roofers are here, and we've got a deal on immigration reform!"

May 17 was indeed a turning point in the immigration reform debate as a bipartisan group of 12 senators led by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) announced a "grand bargain" compromise immigration reform proposal that was quickly embraced by the White House. Introduced as S. 1348, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 contains three core tenets of comprehensive immigration reform—enhanced border security, a guest worker program and a method to bring undocumented workers already in the U.S. out of the shadows without amnesty.