More than 130 PHCC members attended the PHCC Legislative Conference April 25-26. During visits on Capitol Hill, contractors and association executives lobbied for: support for permanent repeal of the estate tax; a more workable EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule; and a congressional hearing on the Department of Energy’s development of workforce guidelines for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
At the PHCC Legislative Breakfast, House Small Business Committee Chair Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) reminded attendees that “bipartisan work does happen” on Capitol Hill as he discussed new opportunities for small business to enter the federal procurement process that came about with the help of Senate Small Business Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
PHCC President-Elect David Dugger of ShoffnerKalthoff Mechanical Electrical Service (Knoxville, Tenn.) noted that legislators really do want to hear from their constituents.
“[Government Relations Director] Mark Riso does a great job for PHCC, but lawmakers see so many lobbyists every day,” he said. “They would rather hear from you about your concerns. Contractors need to get into politics or get out of business.”
That theme was repeated by retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who told attendees at the closing reception to get to know their legislators while they are in their districts and states.
“Once they are in Washington, you’ve missed the opportunity to have a voice,” he said.