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4/21/2017 » 4/22/2017
2017 NFH Seattle Conference

CFA Update - Good News!
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CFA Update—Good News!

We have good news to share concerning the Cabin Fee Act of 2013 (S. 1341)! Our last Cabin Fee Act (CFA) update was on August 28th and Congress has been in session since September 9th. Regrettably, we all know how little has been done during the current session. Mercifully, with the shutdown over and a short-term Continuing Resolution passed and then signed by the President on October 16th, Congress is now back to their normal work. Including the CFA. We are not dead, yet!!

The Senate Energy and Natural Resource (ENR) Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining has scheduled a hearing for the CFA for November 20 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We have been told that over 200 bills are currently seeking a hearing by the ENR Committee. We are fortunate that S. 1341 is one of the bills selected to be heard. We have been informed that our specific hearing will be brief, but the Cabin Coalition 2 (C2) and NFH are preparing compelling testimony for the Committee members at the hearing. Watch the hearing on live webcam at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/live-webcast.

Following the hearing two things will happen: First, we expect a fairly quick response from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about the revenue implications of the legislation. Though we have struggled to satisfy the CBO in the past, we are optimistic that the corrected and updated data they received from the Forest Service this past summer will favorably support S. 1341 that Senator Jon Tester (D- MT) introduced to the Senate In July. Second, we hope for a prompt markup session that will finalize the language of the bill. We have been pressing for no changes to the bill, but are preparing for all potential issues. We simply will address them if issues arise.

Action on the House bill H.R. 1159 has stalled in the Congressional Budget Office, but we have been told that following the Senate hearing on S. 1341, the CBO will move much more promptly on the overall evaluation of the CFA, including the House version.

We are not calling for Grassroots support and messages to Congress at this point in time. Your grassroots efforts in August were quite successful, particularly in grabbing the attention of the chairman of the ENR Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). If we encounter resistance as we move through the hearing and markup, we hope you will remain prepared to do your part by calling and emailing your respective Senators and Representatives. We will let you know when this is necessary and what to say. Your broad grassroots response is very important because, if the CFA is not passed this year, the broad consensus is that next year’s higher CBO revenue demands will be impossible to satisfy. We are close to the end of the road.

NFH and C2 continue to press for passage of the CFA, but if we fail, CUFFA will remain the law of the land for cabin owners. With that we can expect to lose many of our friends and neighbors to unsustainable fees and the Recreation Residence Program takes a major hit. It is also important to note that we are also developing contingency plans. These plans may not offer satisfactory resolution like the Cabin Fee Act provides, but we simply cannot abandon those cabin owners that are facing the loss of their cabins. Stay engaged!

Pete Bailey
C2 Steering Committee

October 17, 2013