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Trip to Capitol Hill is highly productive – CRI President

06
Mar '10
On February 24 & 25, CRI hosted two important annual events: the Government Issues Committee Capitol Hill visit and Congressional reception. This year the reception honored the Georgia Delegation as well as friends of the carpet industry. It was held in the Rayburn House Office Building and was very well attended.

Guests from both the House and Senate sides enjoyed food from Chick-Fil-A. After checking with the Congressional Ethics Committee, an area rug was given to each guest on the house side and to Senators Isakson and Chambliss for display in their offices. CRI president Werner Braun was joined by Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Frank Hurd and Government Relations Director Jenn Mendez. Tracy Hammond, Vice President at Dutko Worldwide, a government affairs strategy and management firm which is helping CRI in its efforts, joined the group. The following CRI-member company representatives and guests were also in attendance:
- Brian Anderson, President, Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce
- Larry Cook, Beaulieu Group and Chairman of the CRI Government Issues Committee
- Louis Fordham, J & J Industries
- Rick Hooper, Shaw Industries, Inc.
- Jim Lucke, Mohawk Industries, Inc.

This year for the first time, there were sufficient participants in the CRI group to form two teams. In addition to meeting with Georgia Senators Chambliss and Isakson, CRI members met with staff from the offices of Sen. Shelby (R-AL), Sen. Hagen (D-NC), Sen. Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Alexander (R-TN), Sen. DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Burr (R- NC).On the House side, members met with Georgia Congressmen Broun, Deal, Gingrey, Johnson, Kingston, Lewis, and Price, as well as staff from the offices of Representatives Barrow, Marshall, and Linder. In the office of Congressman Zack Wamp (R- 3rd,TN) CRI participants met with Legislative Aide John Frierson, son of former CRI GIC Chairman Paul Frierson.

During the meetings, CRI participants discussed topics of importance to the carpet industry. The U.S. economy was of primary concern again this year. CRI representatives clearly outlined how the carpet industry is suffering, with residential sales hard-hit by the slowdown in the housing market. Coming from Dalton, historically a stronghold of manufacturing jobs, the group also made it clear that Congress and the nation at large are not paying enough attention to losses in the manufacturing sector.

Each of the member company representatives who made the trip agreed that it was worthwhile. CRI president Werner Braun said this year's trip to Capitol Hill was "highly productive.

The following discussion topics are taken directly from the list of "talking points" members used during their meetings with lawmakers.
Employee Free Choice Act (Card Check) bill
- CRI STRONGLY opposes legislation.
- Concerned about potential Dept. of Labor regulations implementing pieces of the bill.


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