WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 300 industry professionals traveled to Washington, D.C., March 9-11, for NPMA Legislative Day, where this year’s lobbying efforts were two-fold: Attendees thanked their congressional representatives for a pair of important legislative wins in 2013; and educated their reps about bee health and the structural pest control industry.
In 2013, NPMA secured a couple of big wins on issues that directly impact pest management professionals – and these outcomes were undoubtedly impacted by Legislative Day visits. At last year’s Legislative Day, attendees asked their House Representatives and Senators to support legislation retaining food uses for the fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (SF) and limiting U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA/WS) competition with the private sector for urban rodent control work. Both issues were successfully addressed. (Click here to read NPMA's position paper.)
“I hope that last year’s wins were proof positive to you that when you take time to travel to Capitol Hill — and when you take time to contact your legislators — you are heard,” said NPMA Director of Government Affairs Gene Harrington. “When you take time to write to your lawmakers you do make a difference.”
Attendees of this year’s Legislative Day used their visits as an opportunity to thank the many members of Congress that spearheaded the passage of legislation retaining SF’s food uses and helped NPMA satisfactorily address the USDA/WS competition issue. These efforts help strengthen those relationships.
The primary goal of this year’s visits was for attendees to educate their reps about bee health and the structural pest control industry. Specifically, to make them aware that reasons for the declining bee population are complex and involve a whole host of issues including: parasites; diet and nutrition; lack of genetic diversity; habitat loss; beekeeping management practices; weather; and viruses. Attendees also urged their House reps to join the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C), a bipartisan group dedicated to protecting pollinators and their habitat. (Click here to read NPMA's position paper).
In addition to Capital Hill visits, other highlights from Legislative Day included:
- A debate between political pundits Pat Buchanan (R) and Donna Brazile (D), sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions. Buchanan and Brazile gave their takes on the state of country. While they differed on policies both agreed that Obama faces a challenging 2014, partly because historically presidents struggle in their second-terms.
- John Heilemann, author and MSNBC political analyst, gave a presentation sponsored by Dow AgroSciences. Heileman handicapped the 2016 presidential race. Unlike many pundits who have predicted that Hillary Clinton is all-but assured of being the Democatic choice, Heilemann said Clinton’s age (66) might give her reason to reconsider running. On the Republican side, Heilemann said the four candidates he thinks can be energize Republican party's base and also appeal to a broader part of electorate are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Sen. Paul Ryan; and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
- Mike Allen, Chief White House Correspondent for Politico gave a presentation sponsored by Control Solutions Inc. Allen provided insights into the Obama presidency. Allen said that, thus far, the president’s second-term has been characterized by a “lack of urgency” and that Obama “is convinced his place in history is secure.”
- PCT presented its 17th annual Technician of the Year Awards, sponsored by BASF, to our winners: Tony Decker, Scherzinger Pest Control, Cincinnati, Ohio – residential category; Corky Long, Presto-X, Springfield, Mo. – commercial category; and Shawn Svehla, Turner Pest Control, Jacksonville, Fla. – termite category.
FMC was the primary sponsor of NPMA Legislative Day. Other sponsors include: Bayer, Control Solutions, Cook’s Pest Control and Dow AgroSciences.