AEM member companies converged in the nation’s capital this week for the association’s first-ever I Make America fly-in.
AEM board members and executives from 25 member companies joined AEM staff for a packed schedule, which featured roughly 100 meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
The fly-in kicked off Monday afternoon with legislative briefings and updates and remarks from Jonathan Martin of The New York Times and BIPAC President and CEO Jim Gerlach, a former member of Congress.
Attendees were then treated to a rooftop reception hosted by Cummins at its Washington, D.C. office, where Senators Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Todd Young (Ind.) visited with AEM members alongside Congressmen Don Bacon (NE-02) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16).
Tuesday morning began with an update on the outlook for tax reform by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, who delivered a bullish assessment of the progress on reforming the country’s tax code. AEM members then split up into teams for a full day of meetings on Capitol Hill.
“We are thrilled by the remarkable success of our first-ever standalone fly-in,” said AEM president Dennis Slater. “This week offered a chance for AEM to firmly plant its flag in Washington and continue to expand our industry’s advocacy efforts here in D.C.”
In addition to holding a fundraiser for AEMPAC, attendees also had a chance to meet with members of the White House National Economic Council, where they discussed agriculture policy, trade, infrastructure investment and tax reform with senior White House staff.
The fly-in focused primarily on pushing for action on three priority issues for the equipment manufacturing industry: trade, infrastructure investment and comprehensive tax reform. But attendees also made the case for the Renewable Fuel Standard, regulatory relief and rural broadband.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we as an industry engage directly with Congress and the administration on the legislative and regulatory issues that impact our industry,” said AEM vice president Kip Eideberg. “Having so many of our member companies in Washington made a powerful statement.”