Southern Crop Production Association members are used to having to make some strong arguments on behalf of the crop protection industry when they travel to Washington for their annual visits with members of Congress in May.
But what was expected to be a test of their persuasiveness turned into what almost amounted to a victory lap when the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, two days before the SCPA’s visit to Washington on May 14.
The vote on the bill, 247-155 did not provide a large-enough margin to override an expected presidential veto. But SCPA leaders were encouraged by the fact that 24 Democrats, mostly from the South and mostly from agricultural areas, voted for the bill, which would require EPA to withdraw its Waters of the U.S. interpretation proposed rule and start over.
SCPA members thanked those members of Congress who voted for the bill and discussed the issues with those who opposed it. Southern senators and their staffs were asked to support the Senate version of the bill, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.
The annual lobbying trip, which began 15 years ago, gives SCPA members the opportunity to call on many members of Congress and their staffs from the region and explain the industry position on a range of crop protection and environmental issues.
This year’s trip was also the last in an official capacity for Ed Duskin, who is retiring at the end of 2015 after 23 years as executive vice president of the Dawson, Ga.-based organization.
For more information, visit http://gop.gov/bill/h-r-1732-the-regulatory-integrity-protection-act-of-2015-2.