Thaddeus Swanek Thaddeus Swanek
Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


September 21, 2023


During most summers in Washington, D.C.—when it’s very hot and humid outside—action on Capitol Hill cools down as Congress enters summer recess for the month of August. But as members of Congress head back to their districts, the action on the home front heats up.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is there to welcome them home and make sure members hear the perspectives of local businesses, loud and clear.

“There’s no time-out in politics. When things slowdown in Washington over the summer, they really pick up back home in the local districts,” says Evan Jenkins, senior vice president for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “With a talented regional team, the Chamber is uniquely positioned to make the most of the summer recess by engaging with members of Congress face-to-face on behalf of the business community in districts across the country.”

Below is just a fraction of the events where U.S. Chamber Government Affairs staff were active this summer, supporting and complementing the strong work of state and local chambers who host and organize them.

At the West Texas Legislative Summit hosted by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, Sens. John Cornyn (TX) and Joni Ernst (IA) had a constructive conversation on Senate process and priorities. Later, Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Randy Weber (TX-14), Michael Burgess (TX-26), Jodey Arrington (TX-19), Keith Self (TX-03), and Ronny Jackson (TX-13) took the stage to talk energy, food, and national security.

Brince Manning, (right) from our Southeastern region, engages with Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-11) at a meeting hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Congressman Webster spoke about his work on the Transportation and Infrastructure and Science, Space and Technology Committees in Congress. He covered a number of issues including the importance of childhood education.

Moore Hallmark, left, who heads up the Regional Government Affairs team for the Chamber, catches up with Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06) at the Business Council of Alabama’s Government Affairs Conference.  Palmer joined Reps. Jerry Carl (AL-01), Mike Rogers (AL-03), and Dale Strong (AL-05) in a panel discussion of the challenges confronting Congress, including the federal budget and appropriations process, securing the Southern border. More than 600 people attended the event.

At the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Forum, Senator Ted Cruz (TX) gave remarks and discussed his engagement on many bipartisan business issues. Sen. Cruz also updated the group on his work to reauthorize the FAA, the border, and his efforts to meet with a number of chambers of commerce around Texas during the August recess.

Almost 70 business community members attended a business roundtable hosted by Macomb Connect and the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce with Rep. John James (MI-10). The event was broad ranging and covered immigration, education, workforce development, energy, and infrastructure. Congressman James said he was a strong believer in immigration reform, and Michigan’s hospitality, restaurants, and tourism industries continue to suffer from a lack of employees and that immigration reform could help address the problem. Rep. James also said he believes more permitting reform is needed and possible.

The Chamber’s Jennings Imel (left) joined the Marana Chamber of Commerce’s working breakfast with Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) and about 175 attendees. Congressman Ciscomani (right) took the opportunity to focus on local issues, and his local roots.  Ciscomani said he'll do whatever he can to avoid a government shutdown this fall. He also focused heavily on his support for legal immigration reform.

Learn more about how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Division advocates for American business.

About the authors

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.

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