Last week, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber led a delegation of 100 business and community leaders to Washington, D.C. to be your voice on Capitol Hill. The week-long trip included three full days of meetings with key decision makers and policy experts about the needs of Nevada’s businesses.
During the trip, our policy priorities included:
- Funds for Interstate 11, between Las Vegas and Phoenix
- Opposition to storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain
- A systemic approach to releasing public land
- Increase Las Vegas’ share of Homeland Security Funding
- Increase federal funding for Graduate Medical Education
- Passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act
- Increase Federal grant dollars in Nevada
- Advocate for federal funding of pilot programs to advance Smart Cities initiatives
- Promote policies that increase education attainment and improve the workforce pipeline
One of our top topics of discussion during the week was the Chamber’s efforts to bring back an Association Health Plan (AHP) to help our small businesses and sole proprietors access affordable health insurance. Chamber leaders met with United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to inform him of the progress the Metro Chamber is making in re-introducing a plan by Fall.
And we were honored to have Secretary Acosta address our members at the Nevada State Dinner Gala. During his remarks, Secretary Acosta emphasized how impressed he is by the Las Vegas Chamber’s national leadership in being the first chamber of commerce in the country to work to bring back an affordable group health plan. Chamber CEO Mary Beth Sewald interviewed Secretary Acosta for our Like Nobody’s Business show, which will air in August.
On Tuesday, we met with each member of Nevada’s Congressional delegation. We were happy to learn that each of them is fully committed to finding the funding to build Interstate 11 between Las Vegas and Phoenix. And we were pleased to learn that the entire Nevada delegation is fired up about preventing any storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
The Chamber also met with four key Congressional leaders from other states: Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah, who is chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources; Congressman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania who is Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation; Congressman Dave Brat of Virginia, who sits on the Budget, Workforce and Education, and Small Business Committees; and Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business. These meetings were an opportunity to share some of Nevada’s priorities with them, as well as forge positive relationships with leaders from other states.
During the week, the Chamber met with several think-tanks and policy experts about some of our top priorities. It was an opportunity to learn more about issues and find ways to collaborate to help shape good policy in Nevada to address some of our challenges, as well as capitalize on opportunities.
In addition to our meetings, the Chamber hosted several social events to build relationships with decision-makers in Washington, and among our Chamber group. We kicked off the week with our Welcome Reception, hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, overlooking the White House.
On Monday, 200 guests joined us for the second annual Nevada State Dinner Gala at the famous Willard Hotel, with keynote speaker Carl Cameron, formerly of Fox News. On Tuesday evening, we hosted our annual Interstate 11 Caucus Reception with several key leaders from both Nevada and Arizona.
And on Wednesday, we welcomed 1,000 members of Congress and their staffs to our annual Nevada Lights Up the Capitol party, to give them a taste of Las Vegas. Finally, we ended the week with a reception at the Capital Wheel at National Harbor overlooking the Potomac River. It was a beautiful way to end a productive week of being your voice and champion.
If you are interested in being part of the Chamber’s annual Washington, D.C. Fly-in, look for our announcement for our 2019 dates.