57th Washington Conference Wrap-Up

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57th Washington Conference Wrap-Up

  1. 1. 57th Annual Siouxland/Washington ConferenceApril 11-14, 2011<br /><ul><li>Priority issues: Federal Deficit Reduction, Energy, Redevelopment of John Morrell site, Regional Innovation Clusters, Tax Policy, Transportation Reauthorization
  2. 2. Met with all Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota members</li></li></ul><li>Kick-Off Breakfast<br />Congressman Steve King<br /><ul><li>Congressman Ryan’s budget – cut $6.2 trillion
  3. 3. Appropriations bills – House passed 12 or 13 already – thinks Senate will roll into Omnibus bill
  4. 4. Debt ceiling limit is next piece
  5. 5. Top priority is Hwy 20</li></li></ul><li>Secretary Ray LaHood<br /><ul><li>Stimulus bill provided jobs – makes good case for passing a highway bill - JOBS bill
  6. 6. How to pay for it - $550 billion President’s proposal
  7. 7. President against raising gas tax
  8. 8. Without gas tax increase – will be at $260 billion over 6 years
  9. 9. President Obama advocates for high speed rail
  10. 10. “roads become economic engines”</li></li></ul><li>Energy Briefing – Kyle Davis<br /><ul><li>Energy Policy Discussion</li></li></ul><li>U.S. Supreme Court Tour<br /><ul><li>Built in 1930 at cost of $9.7 million by President Taft (also a Chief Justice)
  11. 11. Disappointed that the meeting with Justice Scalia was cancelled</li></li></ul><li>Rep. Bruce Braley, Iowa<br /><ul><li>EPA struggles – some members of Congress very opposed
  12. 12. Pessimistic that Clean Energy Standard can come out of this Congress
  13. 13. Likes wind power</li></li></ul><li>Rep. Tom Latham, Iowa<br /><ul><li>Supportive of National Training Center
  14. 14. Highway 20 has been his priority for 17 years
  15. 15. Highway Reauthorization is necessary - Administration budget is $550 billion
  16. 16. If see a highway bill it will be at the current level</li></li></ul><li>Senator Saxby Chambliss – “Gang of Six”<br />Wednesday Breakfast Speaker<br /><ul><li>Article on May 2nd in SCJ about them
  17. 17. $14 trillion debt – it has to stop
  18. 18. Bi-partisan letter to President with 64 signatures – ½ Republican & ½ Democrat
  19. 19. Obamacare is big issue – no one knows how big it is or how to solve it
  20. 20. Three things to address:
  21. 21. Reduce discretionary spending
  22. 22. Reform entitlements – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
  23. 23. Revenues</li></li></ul><li>Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska<br /><ul><li>Spoke on House floor regarding debt reduction
  24. 24. Energy Concerns
  25. 25. Rock Island Clean Line
  26. 26. Concerned with EPA rulemaking</li></li></ul><li>Senator John Thune, South Dakota<br /><ul><li>“Economic certainty” is lacking – concerned with regulatory policy (EPA especially) and taxes
  27. 27. Best for any group to hope for is to hold their own - no increases in spending
  28. 28. 50% of U.S. debt is held by foreigners – China
  29. 29. Energy policy should be all things American
  30. 30. Debt to GDP ratio is 93% - highest since 1948 (WW II) – 90% is bad
  31. 31. If raise revenues, it should go to highways</li></li></ul><li>HUD / SBA / EDA Briefing<br /><ul><li>President Obama pushing for regional programs
  32. 32. Identify projects that are viable
  33. 33. EDA – cutting down barriers and working regionally is new direction – Siouxland does a good job of this
  34. 34. Network of funding – Federal, state, local – versus silos</li></li></ul><li>Rep. John Mica, House Transportation Chair<br /><ul><li>FAA - Aviation bill – expired in 2007 – 18 extensions
  35. 35. Highway bill – expired September 2009</li></ul>Thinks he can get it done – we need to support<br />Goal: get funding and speed up process of dealing with government on projects<br />No earmark environment makes it harder for him to get votes<br />
  36. 36. Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota<br /><ul><li>Small Group Meeting</li></ul> Discussed:<br /><ul><li>Hyperion Project Support/Update
  37. 37. Education Reauthorization
  38. 38. Tax Policies</li></li></ul><li>Ross Maradian – Rep. Boswell’s Staff<br /><ul><li>Majority staff will start drafting bill at end of April
  39. 39. Bill will mirror trust fund receipts - $75 billion LESS than current
  40. 40. Needs are $550 billion – but will focus on maintenance
  41. 41. If earmarks are gone – formula will have to be addressed
  42. 42. Thinks there will be extension into 2012
  43. 43. Earmarks are “Congressionally- directed appropriations”– eliminating them gives more power to the Executive branch
  44. 44. Railroads – continue to invest – does not think re-regulation will happen</li></li></ul><li>Senator Ben Nelson, Nebraska<br /><ul><li>“Highway 35 got earmarks before it was a four-letter word”
  45. 45. Highway reauthorization – EPW said they will hold hearings this year but nothing on paper yet
  46. 46. Funding level of highway bill uncertain
  47. 47. Wind power – grid and transmission issue – stranded energy generation doesn’t do anyone any good
  48. 48. Hope to get control over spending – “has to be shared sacrifice”
  49. 49. Need tax reform – make U.S. companies more competitive
  50. 50. Thinks Rep. Ryan’s plan makes things worse for seniors
  51. 51. EPA is NOT the 4th branch of the government and can’t act like it</li></li></ul><li>Senator Mike Johanns, Nebraska<br /><ul><li>President’s budget announced today – “didn’t push the buy down of the debt much but good that he is engaged”
  52. 52. 5 programs account for 80% of U.S. spending: Medicare, Medicaid, Interest on debt, defense, and Social Security
  53. 53. USDA assistance – good programs for economic development
  54. 54. Federal departments very aggressive in rulemaking
  55. 55. (especially EPA, treasury, HHS)</li></li></ul><li>Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa<br /><ul><li>More turnover in Congress than any year since 1938
  56. 56. Rep. Boehner has changed the debate in DC on spending – no earmarks
  57. 57. Grant application approach is a good one – competitive process
  58. 58. For every $1.00 that we send to DC, Congress spends $1.17
  59. 59. Taxes – if reduce the marginal tax rate you will get economic development
  60. 60. Production tax credits (PTC) – will be extended
  61. 61. Ethanol is under attack</li></li></ul><li>Senator Tim Johnson, South Dakota<br /><ul><li>Small Group Meeting with Staff
  62. 62. Discussed with staff members:
  63. 63. Federal Deficit Reduction
  64. 64. Dakota Dunes Flood Control
  65. 65. Hyperion Project</li></li></ul><li>Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa<br /><ul><li>Highway trust fund will go negative by 2012
  66. 66. Large metro areas want money for congestion so someone will get less money
  67. 67. Highway bill won’t pass until 2013
  68. 68. Announced $2 million EDA grant for John Morrell demolition
  69. 69. Supports earmarks - thinks earmarks will come back in 2013
  70. 70. Postal service – he will fight them to the end </li></li></ul><li>Steak Dinner<br /><ul><li>Held in Capitol this year – nice venue
  71. 71. Steaks donated by Tyson
  72. 72. Reception: Boswell, Braley, Loebsack, Nelson, Thune, Latham
  73. 73. Dinner: King, Grassley, Harkin, Fortenberry
  74. 74. NO: Johnson, Noem, Johanns</li></li></ul><li>Mark Your Calendar…58th AnnualSiouxland/Washington ConferenceApril 16-19, 2012(tentative)<br />

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