More than 160 contactor members and chapter executives from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association called on their legislators in Washington, D.C., April 19, for the association’s annual “Day on Capitol Hill.”

The day began with a keynote address from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, the first appearance of a cabinet member since the legislative event was organized 11 years ago.

After the breakfast meeting, PHCC members and state chapter staff split up by states for a day-long series of meetings with legislators. Most of the day’s meetings centered on immigration reform and tax relief, particularly a 3 percent withholding tax on government contractors scheduled to take effect in 2011.

Training for the day actually began the afternoon before as members listened to Michael Graham, a lobbyist for the American Dental Association, and Lake Coulson, PHCC-NA’s vice president/governmental relations, discuss how to prepare for the meetings.

For the first time, the legislative activities were combined with what had been a separate Leadership Conference, which took place April 20-21.