Siouxland delegates lobby lawmakers for their top priorities
A group from Siouxland shares concerns with lawmakers in Washington prior to the steak reception.
The 59th annual Siouxland Conference is underway in Washington. The delegation has an ambitious two-day agenda that ranges from education and air travel to river management and taxes.
And it's never an easy sell with lawmakers desperate to cut spending.
"We were able to make the points that we needed to make and he gave us some good feedback," said Dr. Paul Gausman, Sioux City Superintendent.
Siouxland delegates had a menu of requests with four main courses.
"Reauthorization of education act, Missouri River management, Essential Air Service apart for airport and then tax policy that grows business," said Barbara Sloniker, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
This reception is the midway point of two days of connecting with 14 members of Congress from three states. And for every one of them, the question is the same, what can you do for Siouxland?
"The biggest thing of course is when you come out to ask for money and the first thing they say is there are no earmarks. And it really is significantly different," said Tom Padgett, Sioux City councilman.
"They understand that all of us have to tighten our belts some they're willing to tighten their share of the doubt anyone a government that is going to spend money responsibility and get to balance," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.
Senator Tom Harkin may be retiring, but says he's got work to do. "I'm still doing things identified very hard for Siouxland area and issues that they care about the Missouri River for example," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
This year, the meetings also had a global flavor.
"We met with an ambassador to China and I think that's going to start up his friendship with any nature relationship that we can fostering years to come," said Keith Radig, Sioux City councilman.
A few Siouxlanders lobbied Senator Charles Grassley during a 4:00 a.m. jog.
"Most of the 3 miles we just had friendly conversation but we talked some education issues and we talked some economic development issues and I'm always glad to do it," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
At the end of the long day it's about networking. "And you know if nothing even happens when we're out here this week, a lot has already happened because we get to meet 'em they know who we are now," said Rhonda Capron, Sioux City councilwoman.
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