Sen. Ted Cruz, Karl Rove speak at NADA Washington Conference

Sen. Ted Cruz, Karl Rove speak at NADA Washington Conference

WANADA representatives attended NADAs Washington Conference last week, held this year at a particularly interesting time in the Congressional legislative process. One of the speakers was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), just as he was pushing a bill in the House of Representatives to fund the federal government through December if funding was cut off for the Affordable Care Act. Since the Senate Democrat leadership has said it wont pass the bill, a government shutdown is in the offing.

Cruz, who concluded a 21 hour filibuster in the Senate this week to make his point, spoke to dealers last week about his economic recovery plan, which includes spending cuts, comprehensive tax reform and ultimately the repeal of the ACA health coverage law.

Greater transparency for the Consumer Financial Protection Board was high on the NADA government relations agenda. More than 400 dealers who attended the conference from dealer associations across the U.S., who went to Capitol Hill to ask their senators to sign a letter by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) requesting CFPB to explain how constraining a dealers ability to robustly compete in arranging vehicle financing for consumers is in the public interest.

Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) told dealers at the conference that hes very concerned about the CFPBs recent effort to change the $800 billion auto finance marketplace without a hearing or offering analysis for public scrutiny.

I believe its absolutely essential that we have a very competitive (finance) marketplace so that folks can get the lowest rate they can for their loans, and certainly dealer-assisted financing is about that, Peters said. NADA Chairman Dave Westcott pointed out that the CFPB has not provided any information about its study or how it compared the many factors that can affect auto interest rates.

On another matter Brian Hamilton, chairman of NADAs Government Relations Committee, told dealers that Congress is considering eliminating the last in, first out (LIFO) accounting method, an action that could increase dealers taxes considerably.

Other speakers at the conference were National Highway and Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland and political commentator Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush.

Following a morning of provocative speaker presentations, the dealers moved to Capitol Hill to see lawmakers. Besides the matter of greater transparency from the CFPB on auto financing, NADA dealers were also encouraged to press their representatives about tax reform and efforts to reduce the regulatory burden.

Attending the conference from WANADA were chairman Danny Korengold, NADA director Tamara Darvish, joined by Gerard Murphy and John ODonnell, CEO and assistant CEO, respectively.

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