At the Chamber, we strive to provide opportunities for our members to have their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Our collaborative approach to federal advocacy engages business leaders and elected officials in substantive dialogue around issues that impact how our members do business across the region, nation, and globe. In order to effectively raise issues surrounding the economic growth of Greater Philadelphia, our business leaders need to travel directly to Washington, D.C.
On February 6, we did just that. Over 60 representatives from Chamber member companies traveled to our nation’s capital for a day full of insightful briefings from our Congressional Delegation. Attendees heard from 11 Congressional members and from their staffers regarding hot topics in Congress at the time. Coming off the longest government shut down in our nation’s history, the Delegates had a lot to share with our members.
- “There’s a direct connection between investment in infrastructure and economic growth and opportunity. We must prioritize our infrastructure.” – Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
- Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) highlighted the importance of infrastructure and its integral part of connecting people to economic opportunity. She believes that it should be a main priority in Congress.
- “I want to work with this administration on the biggest, boldest infrastructure project that our country has seen in 60 years. Yes, that includes bridges, roads, rail, but also water, electric and gas as well as broadband.” – Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
- Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) acknowledged the struggle with improving infrastructure – how will we pay for it? His ideas: user fees, gas taxes, etc.
- “Healthcare bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy.” Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) reiterated the need to decrease health care costs, and to tackle the opioid epidemic together.
- Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) also brought up lowering health care costs and prescription prices as a great opportunity for bipartisan legislation.
- “I’m happy the President challenged us to eradicate HIV and childhood cancer. I have no doubt that Philadelphia and Pennsylvania institutions are the ones contributing heavily to this cause.” – Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Talent and Education
- Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) focused on the importance of education and workforce development. “Education is a high priority for me at various levels. We have the jobs available in our region. We have to ensure we have the right talent to fill those positions.”
- Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) emphasized the importance of cultivating a workforce with diverse skills and training for a variety of career pathways. “I wouldn’t discourage the path of traditional college/4-year-degrees, but other paths to family-sustaining occupations need to be highlighted.”
- “We need to value education, especially STEM and STEAM. We also need to make sure people have the ability to be flexible in their skills – to meet the needs of our economy.” – Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA)
- “Over the course of the next 7 years, 50% of utility workers will be retiring. We can’t build that workforce overnight. Kids should be reminded that they have the opportunity to go to college, build a college, or defend the college.” – Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
Read about the Chamber’s advocacy agenda and legislative priorities, and learn more about our regional congressional delegation in our Chamber Day Briefing Book.
In addition to Chamber Day, members who couldn’t join us on the road had the chance to meet with the offices of our regional delegation at Congressional Staff Luncheon on March 1.
This afternoon we’re gathering members of our biz community to meet with staff members of our regional delegation to discuss legislative priorities currently being considered by Congress & the Administration. #GoodBizPHL pic.twitter.com/vJURGgoFFj
— Chamber for Gtr PHL (@ChamberPHL) March 1, 2019
Attendees had the chance to chat with staffers from the following offices:
- Office of Senator Cory Booker
- Office of Senator Robert P. Casey
- Office of Senator Chris Coons
- Office of Senator Robert Menendez
- Office of Senator Pat Toomey
- Office of Representative Brendan F. Boyle
- Office of Representative Dwight Evans
- Office of Representative Brian Fitzpatrick
- Office of Representative Chrissy Houlahan
- Office of Representative Andy Kim
- Office of Representative Donald Norcross
- Office of Representative Mary Gay Scanlon
- Office of Representative Lloyd Smucker
- Office of Representative Jefferson Van Drew
The Chamber and our members are hard at work representing the Greater Philadelphia business community at the federal level.
Innovation, regional mobility, and talent are foundational priorities of the Chamber’s CEO Council for Growth, a devoted group of business, higher education, and civic leaders who commit their time and efforts to enhancing economic growth and prosperity in the 11-county region across northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. Learn more about the CEO Council at CEOCouncilforGrowth.com.