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National Restaurant Association - 7+ key politicians we met with on Capitol Hill

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7+ key politicians we met with on Capitol Hill

Kudos to our members, who last week converged on Capitol Hill to explain to their legislators how certain regulations and legislation affect the way they do business.

More than 600 restaurant and foodservice owners and operators came to Washington, D.C., for our 2017 Public Affairs Conference, March 28 to 29. Over the course of 330 meetings, the two-day event provided a crash course in advocacy, lawmaking and why it’s important to fight for policies that help our businesses prosper. Nearly 30 percent of attendees were first-timers to the conference, 12 percent have attended for the last 10 years and 54 percent have worked in our industry for more than 20 years.

(VIDEOS) Our three topics of concern this year were:

  1. Health care
  2. The debit card tax
  3. Tax reform

Our members also talked to their legislators about infrastructure and immigration, and how those issues impact business decisions going forward.

Here’s a look at our day:

In lockstep

Our delegation from Wisconsin stopped on the Capitol steps before meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan.


Our Arizona delegation hit the floor running, meeting with Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. They discussed a number of issues, including how to revive the health care bill and immigration reform.


The Illinois Restaurant Association met with Congressman Dan Lipinski to discuss health care legislation. Lipinski, a Democrat, took the lead on introducing changes to the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time employment from 30 to 40 hours per week.


Our restaurateurs from Iowa met with Sen. Chuck Grassley to discuss tax reform and how it could help small business owners.


Louisiana operators visited Congressman Steve Scalise’s office. The House Majority Whip is a longtime supporter of the restaurant industry and other small businesses.


Texas Restaurant Association CEO Richie Jackson told Congressman Pete Sessions that if debit card swipe-fee protections are repealed, operator fees will skyrocket, hurting sales and potentially jeopardize hiring.


The delegation spoke with Speaker Ryan about the Presidency and health care reform. During the meeting, CEO Ed Lump addressed the ACA’s onerous employer mandate and IRS reporting issues.

Learn more about our Public Affairs Conference and advocacy work

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