April 21-22, 2015
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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
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.