A periodic report about the Forging Industry Association’s (FIA) efforts to inform members of Congress and Government Regulators about issues of concern to the forging industry
This year’s Forging Industry
Association’s Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. proved to be a golden opportunity
for FIA members from around the country to meet with Senators, Representatives
and their staffs and speak out on behalf of the forging industry.
Among the top-priority issues discussed this year were:
energy policy, overreach by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the
possibility of comprehensive tax reform and the looming crisis in workforce
development. Other issues included the impact of defense budget cuts on the
forging industry, continuing concerns about healthcare costs and the burdensome
cumulative effects of regulations.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA 3) was the keynote speaker at a dinner
for Lobby Day attendees on April 16. The freshman from western Pennsylvania,
elected in 2010, has quickly become known as an advocate for fiscal
responsibility, reduced regulatory burdens and reining in the size and scope of
On April 17, following a breakfast briefing on key issues,
attendees divided into five teams and
fanned out across Capitol Hill to deliver the key messages on FIA’s
top-priority issues: energy policy, overreach by the National Labor Relations
Board, comprehensive tax reform and workforce development. By day’s end, these
FIA volunteers had conducted more than three dozen meetings with members of
Congress and their staffs.
One of those teams, made up of FIA’s current, future and
past chairmen and its top executive, focused on meetings with Congressional
leadership and committee staffs in order to better understand the inner
workings of Congress and the committee process. In particular, this team met
with staff for the Senate Finance Committee to discuss comprehensive tax
reform; the Senate Small Business Committee to inform them of the significant
number of small and medium-sized enterprises in the U.S. forging industry; and
the House Education and Workforce Committee to hear about the Committee’s
efforts to rein in the National Labor Relations Board and to enact
comprehensive workforce training legislation. They also met with the House
Majority Whip’s Coalitions Director to learn about the priorities of the House
Republicans, specifically about how a small-business tax cut might pass the
While in Washington, FIA Executive Vice President Roy Hardy
attended a dinner with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI 1), chairman of the House Budget
Committee and a recognized expert on the looming fiscal crisis facing the U.S.
due to rising debt and budget deficits. Rep. Ryan is very familiar with forging
and has visited forging operations in his district.
Lobby Day attendees from Ohio also attended a breakfast with
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on April 18. They spoke personally to the Senator about
the forging industry and their concerns.
FIA’s Annual Lobby Day has become an important part of our
industry’s ongoing public policy program, and 2012 was no exception.
Congressional activity has slowed a bit in recent weeks, and the 2012 election
season has begun in earnest. Nonetheless, forgers have made an impression (pun
intended) in Washington, and the industry’s ability to understand and influence
public policy relating to forging will only grow stronger.
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