Despite Government Shutdown, Business As Usual for Associations

Many trade associations have not let the government shutdown stall their advocacy activities. According to The Hill’s Kevin Bogardus, “While the staffing furloughs have forced some last-minute venue changes and communications problems, trade groups say their events have mostly gone off with out a hitch.” The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, for example, had 45 fly-in meetings with lawmakers and congressional staff planned earlier this week; according to the group, only seven were canceled.

The government shutdown has made coordination between advocacy organizations and Hill staffers slightly more difficult – government issued BlackBerrys, for example, are out of commission for the time being. Certain buildings on the Hill are also closed based on shutdown restrictions. But lawmakers and administration officials seem as eager as ever to meet with their constituents.

“Some of AAM’s [the Alliance for American Manufacturing] meetings were canceled because of furloughed staff…but the group, after waiting in long lines, found some lawmakers with time on their hands due to committee work being postponed,” reported Bogardus.

Scott Paul, AAM’s president, told The Hill that “The member and/or the staff was happy to talk about something else other than the shutdown. We have been able to harvest some co-sponsorships for our legislation.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many political fundraising events scheduled for this week have been canceled. According to the Washington Post, a handful of lawmakers are refusing or donating their compensation for the duration of the shutdown.

Click here to read more in The Hill.

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