ABI leaders return from Washington, D.C.

September 24, 2015

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, several ABI leaders spent last week in Washington, D.C. meeting with Iowa’s congressional delegation and business advocacy groups. It was a very substantive trip.

On Wednesday, the group began the day at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for a briefing. The briefing included discussions on trade, environmental regulation and labor issues. During the trade discussion, NAM spoke about the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The environmental regulation topics included the ozone standard, the clean power plan, and other rules from the Environmental Protection Agency impacting environmental standards. The labor issues discussion was largely focused on labor regulations such as the proposed overtime rule, the ambush elections rule and the cadillac tax, which would place an excise tax on certain employee benefit packages. Most of these issues would directly affect ABI members and have been mentioned in past newsletters.

Members also attended a briefing by the Business and Industry PAC (BIPAC). The discussion focused on what BIPAC and ABI are doing in partnership to help employers educate employees on the importance of voting. BIPAC discussed their vision for expanding their reach and showcased several tools available to ABI and other associations to accomplish that goal. They also discussed the 2016 political climate and gave an overview of some of the races that will be most contested.

On Wednesday afternoon, ABI members began the hill visits with a Senate Judiciary committee briefing and meetings with Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Most of the Judiciary committee meeting focused on immigration policy. At both meetings with the Senators, members discussed the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, environmental regulation, labor regulation and immigration.

On Thursday, members met with all of Iowa’s representatives in the U.S. House. Members discussed the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, environmental regulation, labor regulation, and immigration. Also on Thursday, the group attended a briefing hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce that covered a wide variety of issues. The highlights were international trade and the Export-Import Bank, capital markets, and health care. The health care discussion focused on the affordable care act and challenges business and industry are having with the complexity and uncertainty of compliance.

The trip ended on Friday with a political briefing by author and political analyst Henry Olsen. Olsen gave his predictions for the 2016 Presidential Election, predicting Marco Rubio would receive the Republican nomination and Joe Biden would receive the Democrat nomination. The conversation was very interactive and the vast majority of the time was spent taking questions from members. Mr. Olsen also discussed international politics and various elections going on around the world.

Thank you to all that were able to attend! This trip served as an excellent opportunity for members and staff to meet with our representatives in Washington and let them know what issues are affecting business in Iowa.