Extensive efforts by the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) and their lobbying firm State Federal Strategies, resulted in the introduction of the bipartisan Federal Mechanical Insulation Act of 2023 (FMIA) by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) to the House of Representatives on July 14.
The FMIA, House Resolution 4663, will advance federal energy efficiencies, save tax dollars and reduce energy loss and emissions for the approximately 350,000 federal buildings in the U.S. It will also add an important audit metric for regulators to include when assessing the mechanical insulation efficiency of federal buildings.
The legislation was assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
LMCT Executive Director Pete Ielmini acknowledged all the hard work and effort put in by all parties who advocated for the FMIA, but added that the introduction of the bill begins a new phase to get the legislation passed and then signed into law.
“This is the start of the long road to get the bill to President Biden’s desk,” he said. “This is a credit to State Federal Strategies for their hard work.
“State Federal is a team of eight lobbyists who each have unique talents and expertise,” Ielmini added.
Prior to the bill’s introduction, both SFS, the LMCT and IAHFIAW leaders spent months meeting with legislators and their staff members to discuss the bill and to educate them on the importance and value of Mechanical Insulation.
This work was key, as they approached legislators on both sides of the aisle and secured both Republican and Democratic support.
“It is huge to have bipartisan support from members of the Energy and Commerce Committee,” said Ielmini. “This is unique from our other bill in that it is co-sponsored by a Republican.”
In December 2022, a version of the FMIA was introduced into Congress with only Democratic support but did not receive a House committee hearing due to the end of the Congressional term.
Unlike the prior version of the bill, H.R. 4663 has bipartisan support and will likely receive committee discussion – where Ielmini and others will testify.
Prior to a Committee vote, the LMCT will reach out to Local Unions with additional information, including how members can support the efforts.
Locals and their affiliated members will be asked to reach out to Committee members and advocate for support and passage of the bill.
“This response is vital,” Ielmini said.
If the legislation passes out of Committee, it would then go to a full vote of the House, where the LMCT and SFS will implement additional outreach efforts to all House members.
Again, HFIAW Locals and their members will likely be called upon to reach out to their representatives and urge them to support the bill.
Besides the focus on the House bill, the LMCT and SFS are working to get a companion bill introduced in the Senate. If this happens, a similar process will likely play out in the higher chamber.
This FMIA is supported by the LMCT, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, North America’s Building Trades Unions and the National Union Insulation Contractors Alliance.