Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Report from the 2011 SA to DC Trip

Over 110 business leaders traveled to Washington, DC last week sharing one voice to advocate for the needs of San Antonio, and to hear from legislators and agency officials regarding a number of issues including health care, international trade, cybersecurity, education, transportation, immigration and military issues. This is the 33rd year that The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce organized the annual trip to Washington. The Chamber now partners with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Free Trade Alliance on the trip.

Karen Tumulty, Washington Post columnist and national political correspondent, began the SA to DC presentations by discussing the current political climate in Washington. She told the participants that the next few months will be a key time to watch Senate leaders such as Mitch McConnell.

“Washington has responded to the last election with a sharp eye on the Republican party and the number of new conservatives that have arrived,” Tumulty said. Tumulty also explained that many Democratic Senators will be up for re-election in the next big election, and there will be opportunity for Republican leaders to influence them on key votes.

This year’s schedule was packed with briefings from key Washington leaders including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Congressmen Charlie Gonzalez, Henry Cuellar, Lamar Smith, Francisco Canseco; Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, former Director of the CIA and NSA, General (Ret.) Michael Hayden; and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.

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