Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
While the passing of Labor Day marks the formal end of summer, in Washington it also brings to conclusion a summer institution – the August Congressional recess. As a seeming testament to Congress’ constitutional place as a co-equal branch of our government, and perhaps to the scope of its power and reach into the fabric of American life, D.C.’s commuters can mark the return of Congress by the uptick in traffic on roads and congestion in metro stations.
In the advocacy business, August is usually quiet in Washington… but this August was anything but typical. The sheer number of major policy issues faced by the business community – and the plastics industry in particular – combined to make this August much, much different. SPI spent the month communicating with its members on key issues — from health care reform (and the burden of escalating employee health care costs for companies) to the impact that current climate change legislative proposals would have on manufacturing. (SPI President Bill Carteaux’s mid-month electronic letter to members detailed theses and others.)
And even though Members of Congress were back in their home states — where SPI members met with several, we were up on Capitol Hill, meeting with senior legislative staffers and talking about our industry’s priorities heading into the fall. As one Congressman put it upon returning to D.C. this month, “my constituents are awake!” With so many fundamental issues in play, we all are.