Patterson, NY – In the aftermath of recent multiple life loss fires in Nashville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois, support for HR 1824, the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2003, continues to grow. As a result of the concentrated efforts of Josh Dozor, Legislative Assistant to the bill sponsor, Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, the lobbying firm of Fierce and Isakowitz, who has been retained by the NFSA/Fire Sprinkler Alliance to assist with passage of this landmark legislation, and the continuing efforts of the fire community and others, support for HR 1824 has grown significantly in recent weeks. As of this writing, ninety-six (96) representatives have signed on as cosponsors including twelve of the nineteen representatives from Illinois and five from the state of Tennessee. Six of the present cosponsors sit on the House Ways and Means Committee where the bill resides. As the current legislative session winds down and lawmakers struggle with energy and Medicare issues, we are concentrating our efforts on several additional influential members of the House Ways and Means Committee.
It appears that the current session will wind down sometime over the next few days for the holiday recess, but it is critical that support efforts continue until the lawmakers return to Washington in early January of 2004. Also, many of you have been asking the question of, “what happens to the bill in the interim?” Be advised that nothing changes. All of the effort and energy that has been dedicated to achieving the support alluded to above will carry over into 2004. The bill will remain in House Ways and Means with all cosponsors intact. After the session closes additional cosponsors will not be posted until January, but the recess presents a great opportunity to work at the “grass roots” level to attract additional supporters. As noted above, with the help of some of the allied organizations who have gravitated in support of our cause, we will be targeting several additional Ways and Means members during this period.
To continue to keep the support letters coming, use of the “Cap Wiz” at www.nfsa.org. The goal continues to be additional cosponsors with special emphasis on:
- Fire Caucus Members
- House Ways and Means Committee Members