July-August 2019

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W ho would have ever thought it commonplace to wake up in the morning and check Twitter for the latest foreign or domestic policy to be announced? In the early hours of the morning, while most people in the country still sleep, the agenda has been set for the day, talking heads are beginning to react and the vast majority of legislators are forced to spend their time responding. Priorities are scrambled and reorganized daily, sometimes hourly. With the pace of breaking news coming out of DC, it is impossible to not feel that Washington is in complete disarray without the ability or the will to find common ground and pass legislation. Especially any assistance that will help on Main Street. That feeling is not one hundred percent wrong. But, underneath the noise, tweets, and heated cable news panels, if you pull back the curtain you will see Congressional Members and their staff hard at work, hammering out deals and interacting with you, their constituent. Every week, NWPCA's government relations team is on the Hill and attending events with Members of Congress, their staff, and federal agency personnel. For them, hearing from NWPCA is a welcome break from the noise. NWPCA is not coming in to talk to them about the latest breaking news or upcoming election, we speak on the issues that they most want to discuss – small business concerns, workforce development, and maintaining an environmental sustainability policy that protects the planet and jobs. Our strategy is to meet with Republican and Democratic offices, cutting through the noise and talking specific issues, which opens the door and keeps it open. There is a common perception that bipartisanship doesn't exist. If you watch the daily news or scroll through Twitter, it would appear that the Democratic majority's agenda is set by the most progressive wing of the party who seem unwilling to compromise. However, upon closer inspection, the Democratic majority is more to the middle, than left. In the last election, Democrats won with moderate, middle-of-the-road candidates who ran in Republican districts and flipped those seats. What senior House Democrat staff tell us, is that the House is focused on finding a bipartisan pathway to fund infrastructure and reaching a deal with the Administration that enables them to get to Yes on the US/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA). This is reflected in the meetings that we take where the discussion gravitates towards issues that matter most to folks the economy and real people, rather than sensational headlines. As an organization, NWPCA sits in the unique position of having priorities that find allies in both parties. Because NWPCA's board and membership is engaged and paying attention, the Association can defend against problematic policies and advocate for beneficial ones. The strong involvement of NWPCA members provides the organization with the ability to build a solid government relations strategy, which is like a three- Policy at Play Standing in the Middle, Looking at Both Sides of the Aisle By Jason Ortega 10 PalletCentral • July-August 2019 CAPITOL HILL CORNER U.S. Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) is joined by NWPCA Members Ben Remmey, Jordan Piland and Marc Bechtel during the 2019 Congressional Fly-In.

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