June 17, 2010

3 Min Read
SOCMA Members Deliver United Voice to Capitol Hill During Washington Fly-In

Chemical industry executives from California to Connecticut, Michigan to Texas, came together in the nation’s capital this week to influence the policymaking process as part of SOCMA’s third annual Washington Fly-In. In total, more than 30 SOCMA members met with more than 50 congressional offices on June 16, making it a record year for the program.

The event kicked-off on June 15 with a special address from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who announced that legislation she spearheaded to reauthorize chemical facility security standards may be considered by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as early as next week. Collins said she will work hard to extend the current standard for another five years, but acknowledged that it may necessary to negotiate the length of the authorization. 

Notable congressional meetings, among others, included those with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), Congressman Christopher Carney (D-PA), Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Congressman Gene Green (D-TX), Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA), and Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). These lawmakers are either senior policy leaders or serve on key congressional committees overseeing industry legislative priorities.

“Our members put forth a unified message on industry priorities such as TSCA reform, chemical security, climate change, trade policy, and taxes to name a few,” said SOCMA president and CEO Lawrence D. Sloan. “Because of the special nature of their businesses, they effectively put these issues in proper context by educating Congress that what seems like a simple or common sense change to an existing statute can mean enormous consequences for someone manufacturing a highly specialized product on a lean budget.”

“Our advocacy efforts exist for this purpose,” Sloan continued. “Our members are among the most innovative companies in the industry, and what helps make us innovative is less intrusiveness by government regulation. Voicing the position of small and mid-sized companies is also very important, and we ensure through efforts like the fly-in that it doesn’t get lost in all the noise on Capitol Hill.”

Sloan attributed the event’s record attendance levels to SOCMA’s established advocacy, which effectively represents the needs of batch, custom, and specialty manufacturers of all sizes.

“The Washington Fly-In, while highly important, is one part of SOCMA’s multi-level advocacy to ensure the unique concerns of specialty, batch, and custom manufacturers are considered by Congress when legislation is being voted upon,” said SOCMA vice president of government relations, Bill Allmond. “We are very pleased to see SOCMA members continually place the fly-in and other grassroots activity as an important part of this year-round strategy.”

The fly-in, June 15-16, is the highlight of SOCMA’s year-round grassroots initiative, known as SOCMA CONNECT, which includes other activities such as facility visits by members of Congress, a get-out-the-vote initiative, and legislative policy breakfasts.

To enable as much industry grassroots participation as possible, SOCMA is also hosting a “Virtual Fly-In” for members unable to make the visit to Washington. The Virtual Fly-In will be ongoing over the next 30 days.

For more information about SOCMA’s Washington Fly-In and other grassroots activities, visit www.socmaconnect.com.
SOCMA is the only U.S.-based trade association serving the batch, custom, and specialty chemical industry. Since 1921, it has represented a diverse membership of small, medium, and large chemical companies, making it the leading authority on this sector. SOCMA has a global membership of nearly 300 companies. In the U.S., members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information, visit www.socma.com.

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