SOCMA’s 8th Annual Washington Fly-In Recap

April 21-22, 2015
Washington, DC

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Nearly 40 SOCMA members met face-to-face with lawmakers and their staff in almost 100 meetings on Capitol Hill during SOCMA's Eighth Annual Washington Fly-In in Washington, DC. The Fly-In is an opportunity for industry representatives to influence the direction of chemical policy through face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and their staff. With recent action on a number of issues, especially the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), SOCMA members couldn't have chosen a better time to visit with key decision-makers.

To kick things off, SOCMA held a “Fly-In 101” session to prepare all attendees on legislative issues and proper meeting etiquette. The training was followed by a reception in the Lyndon Baines Johnson room in the U.S. Capitol, sponsored by KMCO, on Tuesday night. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, provided an update on TSCA reform in the House. Shimkus is a longtime champion of TSCA reform and recently introduced draft legislation on the issue. During his remarks, Shimkus thanked SOCMA members for their support of the bill and for offering testimony on the issue before his committee numerous times. SOCMA also heard from four other members of Congress during the reception, Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Garrett Graves (R-LA) and Scott Perry (R-PA).

On Wednesday morning, as members met with lawmakers and their staff on Capitol Hill, the Senate Finance Committee passed TPA legislation, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015). The bill is a crucial step in finalizing ongoing free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will open doors to new markets and help specialty chemical makers compete in the global market. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber.

In addition to TSCA and TPA, SOCMA members advocated for passage of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and making the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit permanent. They also called for regulatory reform and discussed issues associated with implementing the generic drug user fees, among other issues.

When it comes to the SOCMA Fly-In, members must be prepared for anything. For example, not all meetings with members of Congress are held in their offices. One group of SOCMA members walked through three House buildings to meet with Representative Brian Babin (R-TX), who stepped out of a hearing to discuss issues with our members in a small conference room. And to cap off the day, a group from SOCMA was escorted to the U.S. Capitol, where Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) left the Senate floor to meet with them.

Other members of Congress whom SOCMA members met face-to-face with include Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rob Woodall (R-GA), and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), among many others.

In all, SOCMA members had a very successful day on Capitol Hill, and their voices were heard by those who can make a difference when it comes to voting on these important industry issues. Invitations were extended throughout the day for lawmakers to visit SOCMA member facilities. Please let us know if you need assistance with setting up these site visits by contacting Dan Moss at (202) 721-4143.

 

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