May 13 2019

OCBC Meets with Legislators on Advocacy Trip to Washington, D.C.

Last week, OCBC and a delegation of business leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual One Voice Two Capitols advocacy trip. Attendees met with lawmakers and other decision-makers on business issues including economic development, workforce development, workforce housing, and infrastructure. 

During the trip, the business delegation was able to meet with legislative officials including: Congressmembers Harley Rouda, Linda Sanchez, Gil Cisneros, and Mike Levin. Additionally, OCBC had a very positive meeting with California’s senior Senator Dianne Feinstein and for the first time, a meeting with Senator Kamala Harris’s office with her senior staff. 

OCBC discussed several issues on this trip including the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, the potential Infrastructure bill and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Federal Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, the United States Mexico Canada Agreement of NAFTA 2.0.

The legislators were very candid about what they think can be accomplished. According to the legislators, the odds of USMCA passing are going to be long. The unions are fighting against the passage and there needs to be more of the agreement negotiated with Mexico and Canada. Congressman Correa himself traveled to Mexico earlier this year to discuss the agreement with Mexican legislators to sweeten the deal. In the end, many of those we spoke to believe that NAFTA will ultimately be authorized.

There is hope that an infrastructure bill will be possible, but the window is short. A deal needs to be in place by mid-June. The US Chamber is working with legislators to develop the deal that include a gas tax although the amount is yet to be determined.

Ex-Im Bank is on the path to be fully operation again with three new appointees likely to be confirmed this week. Reauthorization will be coming up next year and the business community needs to be prepared for an uphill climb.

Finally, the National Flood Insurance Program, which has been punted 17 times, is finally likely to be reauthorized. This provide much needed relief for taxpayers here in California combating climate change.  

A sincere thank you to our trip sponsors: Southern California Edison, MemorialCare, Metropolitan Water District, SoCal Automobile Club, The Boeing Company, Disneyland Resort, and Irvine Ranch Water District.

For more information, contact Alicia Berhow, OCBC’s Sr. Vice President of Government Affairs. 

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