AFS metalcasters and suppliers took part in the 2019 AFS Government Affairs Fly-In June 11-12 in Washington, D.C., the industry’s premier legislative event dedicated to educating policymakers and speaking with one voice. As well as showcasing the industry as one of America’s most vital economic sectors, Fly-In attendees met with 100 legislators and/or their staff from 25 states.
Among the top priorities discussed in the congressional meetings were:
- Strengthening “Buy American” provisions – Members urged lawmakers to support passage of the BuyAmerican.gov Act of 2019 to ensure federal agencies prioritize the purchase of American-made goods and create a centralized website to track and display requested waivers to Buy American laws.
- Passage of the Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act – Members backed this bipartisan legislation to stop federal funds from being used to award Chinese companies with contracts for passenger rail cars and buses, and to ensure transit agencies execute cybersecurity plans.
- Modernizing America’s infrastructure network – Members asked lawmakers to support the establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank and to address the shortage of truck drivers by supporting the DRIVE-SAFE Act.
- Investment in water infrastructure – Members called on Congress to support funding for key water programs in the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Bill, and to encourage the use of resilient materials in water infrastructure construction.
- Modernizing our nation’s education system – Members asked Congress to pass the JOBS Act and the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would reduce barriers to career and technical education in the U.S.
AFS also recognized two members of Congress, Reps. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), with the Metalcasting Industry Congressional Champion Award for their exceptional leadership in advancing and protecting policies that strengthen the U.S. metalcasting industry.
AFS CEO Doug Kurkul offered kudos to the AFS Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Eric Meyers (Oil City Iron Works), for working with the AFS Washington, D.C., and headquarters staff in planning and promoting such an effective Fly-In. “AFS also encourages our members to invite their lawmakers to their foundries in person during congressional recesses throughout the year,” Kurkul noted, adding that AFS can provide issue-briefing materials for such meetings.
In addition to advocacy, the Fly-In included a lunch presentation by Karl Rove, former Counselor to the President, issue briefings from policy experts, issue briefings from policy experts, and presentations by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX).