Is Your Government Relations Team #SmartWorking?

There’s been a huge swell in lobbying activities in Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic as Congress swiftly enacts policies to help those impacted. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic typically alter the course for many sectors toward technologies and different methods they should have been using all along. So, it begs the question why are some government relations firms charging their clients $40,000, $50,000 and $80,000 per quarter? It’s outrageous. #Smartworking government relations firms will never cost that much.

President Trump Challenges to Use Better Infrastructure Techniques

During the COVID-19 press conference on April 5, President Trump addressed a question on the need and timing of infrastructure improvements for the U.S.  President Trump supports a massive investment in much-needed improvements to U.S. roads, rail, bridges, levees, drinking water, seaports, airports, etc. that will also help spur the economy post-COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump…

@EPA and @USCG Continue Work in Tandem on Regulatory Framework for Discharges from Commercial Vessels

Shipping companies and seaports should be aware of the potential impacts of the VIDA national standards of performance currently being crafted. Do you know about ongoing and future developments of the VIDA regulations? If not, contact us at [email protected], or (202)714-2822.

U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee Takes up Challenges in Global Food Supply Chain

On November 14, the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture addressed the issue of invasive species and their impacts on the U.S. food supply chain. In his opening statement to begin the hearing Chairman of the Subcommittee, Jim Costa (D-CA) pointed out, “Along our southern border and in seaports across the country…

What Can Possibly Be Accomplished During 2018 Lame Duck Session of Congress?

Congress left many issues undone for the 16-days scheduled in the legislative calendar after the 2018 midterm elections, known as the lame duck session of Congress. Below are some of those remaining issues. FY 2019 Appropriations Bill Congress enacted 5 (of the total 12) annual FY 2019 appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the…

Federal Budget Changes Coming. Is Your Organization Ready?

No matter the outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections there is an important policy issue that will take center stage early in the coming 116th Congress.  Its an issue that everyone knows Congress must begin to address and its an issue that could impact everyone’s favorite federal program — the federal debt and growing federal…

Cansler Keynotes Annual Conference for Tennessee Farm Bureau Presidents

“Tim Cansler’s behind the scenes Washington knowledge on agricultural and farm issues makes him an excellent choice for hearing the “rest of the story” about current Washington happenings. His agricultural and Farm Bureau background provide a solid foundation and understanding of the issues important to farmers.” Jeff Aiken President Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Cansler Consulting,…

Small Lobbyist Secures $72 Million from State Gov’t for GA County

Henry County SignHenry County, Georgia needed help.  They needed money to widen GA155. The Board of County Commissioners hired a small lobbying firm and within ONE WEEK, the firm had procured $72 million to widen the road….

wait for it…

at the whopping cost of $2000 per month for one year. So,  $24,000 netted the County $71,976.000.00. “That’s a pretty good investment, I think,” said Commissioner Blake Prince, of funding the lobbyist’s contract.…

Lobbying to Reduce Delays

Methods for Industry to Speed Conveyances and Reduce the Risk of Delays, Re-Export, Treatments or Destruction of Cargo

It is estimated that $1.1 trillion worth of agricultural products are traded internationally each year. Food items account for justShip Containers iStock_000004081957Small under 85% of the total.

And while this economic activity provides much-needed nourishment around the world, there is one huge downside — the potential introduction of pests and diseases that are harmful to agriculture and the environment. Simply put, where fruit or plants travel so do the creatures that plague them. Pests like fruit fly eggs hidden in the skins of oranges, beetles that have burrowed into wooden shipping pallets and fungus spores in between the seams of metal shipping containers.…

U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)

Tim Cansler w Canada's Ambassador David MacNaughton

Tim Cansler w Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton

U.S. and Canadian Regulatory Senior Officials met to discuss opportunities to smooth and speed imports and exports between the two countries and enhance economic competitiveness while at the same time heightening safety standards.  The RCC is made up of government officials and industry stakeholders focused on trying “to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination” between the two North American giants. Both countries maintain a very effective regulatory system that achieves similar levels of protection.  In addition, regulatory officials on both sides of the border have generally compatible regulatory values and practices.

President Signs Transportation Reauthorization

With one day remaining before the deadline for the current surface transportation Dollar symbol on endless roadauthorization to expire President Obama signed HR 22, a 5-year (FY 2016-2020), $305 billion surface transportation reauthorization.  The bill will require offsets to make a $70 billion general fund transfer to the Highway Trust Fund.  About $52 billion of this would go to highways and a little over $18 billion to mass transit.

Multiple offsets were found to fund the overall measure, some of which are controversial.  Some of those offsets include; cutting the dividend the Federal Reserve (Fed) pays to member banks, transferring funds from the Federal Reserve surplus account to help the Fed offset losses and selling a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).…

Follow the Leader…

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

As disclosure for this blog post: I have known, supported and learned a lot from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since the late 1980’s. He is emphatically one of the most astute and cunning politicians of the modern era.  He’s been re-elected five times in Kentucky, a Commonwealth where the number of registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. This last election cycle (2014) McConnell carried 110 of 120 counties.

This is How You Do It

Our Dollar Sign Road iStock_000000985949XSmallhats are off to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), US Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for their leadership and bipartisan work on the much-needed long term (6-year) extension of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization (highway bill) that funds the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The HTF is a dedicated source of federal funding for highways.  It is the primary funding source for federal highways and transit programs for state, local, and national projects across the U.S. The Senate adopted HR 22, the long-term highway bill by a vote of 65-34.…

No Other Viable Transportation Options

put in a patch

Highway patch

Just hours before the U.S. Senate was set to adjourn for the long August congressional recess, on July 31, the U.S. Senate adopted H.R. 5021 to fund the nation’s highway system by a vote of 81-13.  H.R. 5021 is a short term, $11 billion “patch” for funding of the U.S. highway trust fund through May 2015.  The trust fund would have been insolvent at the beginning of August.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted H.R. 5021 with a vote of 367-55 on July 15. While the measure garnered bi-partisan support, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told CQ News, “Democrats would have a preferred a longer-term deal that shored up the highway trust fund’s solvency for years to come… and many Democrats accepted the deal because there were no other viable options.”  State transportation officials and transportation industry leaders have called for Congress to pass long-term legislation to ensure more certainty for highway improvement projects across the country.