At the risk of sounding like a "broken record" (you all do remember records, don't you?), here is another appeal to contact your Senators and Representatives yet again this month regarding the Cabin Fee Act (CFA). If the CFA is not enacted into law this year before the new Congressional session convenes in January, then CFA may be dead for the foreseeable future.
First, please read the following summary of the CFA status, which was prepared by the National Forest Homeowners (NFH) representative in Washington, D.C. Next, don't procrastinate! Take immediate action to contact your Senators and Representatives to urge their timely action in support of the CFA. Passage of the CFA has long-term important ramifications for all of us cabin owners, so please take a few moments to read this article and voice your support, as described below. Thanks.
DURING THE AUGUST CONGRESSIONAL RECESS
URGE YOUR U.S. SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO
PASS THE CABIN FEE ACT!
Cabin owners are approaching the end of a historic five-year journey to secure passage of the Cabin Fee Act that will significantly reform how fees are determined for the Forest Service Recreation Residence Program. After conceiving this approach to determining cabin fees, drafting reform legislation, testifying before multiple hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, working with the Congressional Budget Office to ensure the legislation will not have a negative budget impact and meeting repeatedly with bill sponsors and supporters and with Congressional staff to refine the bill, we are on the verge of success!
We now have a bill that is bipartisan, noncontroversial, revenue neutral, has the support of the Forest Service and no opposition. What we need is to convince Congress that the CFA merits priority attention that must not be blocked by the partisan, ideological disputes now preventing so much legislation.
Nearly all Senators and Representatives are home for much of August. Now is an opportune time to contact them and their staff. When legislators return to Congress, the schedule will be short and crowded. Congress is in session for only three weeks in September and another few weeks after the elections when they will return for a very busy "Lame Duck" session. We must prevent them from overlooking the CFA as parochial legislation. The CFA is poised for passage in September with a House floor vote expected and a Senate committee "mark-up" and floor vote possible. While lame duck action on the CFA may be necessary, we hope things are not carried that far, when our bill will have to compete for attention with controversial tax, budget and fiscal matters.
Cabin owners are being urged, once again, to contact their Senators and Representatives with the following simple message points and request:
(1) The Cabin Fee Act is vital to keep the historic cabin program as the largest source of Forest Stewardship and family recreation on the National Forests, serving over 14,000 families and generating more than 5 million visitor days annually.
(2) Without the fee reforms of the CFA, many cabin owners will be faced with draconian fee increases that will force the sale or abandonment of multi-generational cabins, drastically altering the overall program.
(3) In stark contrast to the current cabin fee system, the CFA has been developed to provide a fair, consistent and predictable fee structure supported by nearly all cabin owners.
(4) The CFA has strong bipartisan support in both House and Senate, is regarded as noncontroversial and will have no negative effect on the Federal budget according to the Congressional Budget Office.
(5) The CFA is supported by the Forest Service because it will be much more economical and simpler to administer.
(6) The biggest hurdle to passage is not the content of the CFA but Congressional procedural delays and obstructions that have nothing to do with this legislation.
TELL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES THIS MONTH TO PASS THE CABIN FEE ACT IN SEPTEMBER. PASS IT ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE AND GET A FAVORABLE COMMITTEE MARK-UP AND PASSAGE IN THE SENATE. THERE IS NO REASON FOR FURTHER DELAY. IT IS GOOD, POSITIVE, WELL CRAFTED LEGISLATION THAT SHOULD BE PASSED NOW.
A direct link to Contact your US Legislators: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Aubrey King, NFH Washington Representative
August 2, 2012