Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chamber Brings Washington Here

Pictured (l-r):   Virginia Gibbs, Chamber President; Bob Reeves, Government Affairs Committee; Jack Smith, County Commission Chair; Congressman Lynn Westmoreland; Scott Hollowell, Government Affairs Committee

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing the community with up close and personal updates from Washington by hosting a series of briefings by our congressional representatives. Last week, U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland spoke to a group of over 100 citizens interested in how changes in Washington will affect their businesses. Represented in the audience were financial institutions, utility companies, small businesses, nonprofits as well as private citizens. The Congressman spoke on a range of topics and then opened the floor for questions for an equal amount of time.

One of the key issues addressed by the Congressman was the need to have a better connection between the legislative process and the bureaus and agencies that administer the legislation. Currently, when legislation is enacted, the laws are interpreted by various agencies that create rules and regulations that are not reviewed by the legislators. This can leave room for a misinterpretation of the original intent of the legislation and cause negative impact that was not intended. Congressman Westmoreland urged citizens to pay close attention to what’s going on in Washington and stay involved in the process. In addition to domestic policies, he highlighted the serious nature of many foreign policy issues and stressed the importance of remaining diligent, keeping America strong, and supporting our troups.

There were a variety of questions from the audience on topics including the new healthcare legislation, immigration, Cap and Trade, Card Check and the Fair Tax. Many of these issues would have major implications for the business community and the economy. The Congressman stated that he believes the majority party is weighing the outcome of the November elections in deciding how many of these issues to push ahead now. In response to one concerned citizen’s question about how to pray for him, the Congressman replied, “Pray for wisdom and discernment.”

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee is in the process of planning another briefing from Washington in August with one of our U.S. Senators. Chamber members interested in getting involved with local, state and national legislative issues are encouraged to be part of this dynamic committee. For more information, contact the Chamber office at 770.461.9983.

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