Amarillo, TX - The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce is hoping a recent trip to Washington D.C. will help Congress keep the Panhandle in mind when it comes to policy making.
A group of about twenty people sat down with Representative Mac Thornberry and U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz last week to discuss policies impacting our area. The group's goal was to make sure the people who make the big decisions don't forget about the Panhandle.
"One of the neat things about when we go up to D.C. is that we're able to meet with House and Senate committee members and not just our elected officials. So we're actually getting to meet with the people that are putting the bills together, that are voting, that are having hearings on the bill and really express our concerns," said Jason Harrison, the chamber's vice president of business development and governmental affairs.
Some of their main concerns are how Medicare cuts are negatively affecting BSA and Northwest Texas hospitals. "The government continues to cut Medicare, which ends up costing our hospitals because they don't get the reimbursements that they need.," said Harrison.
Representatives from Xcel Energy made a push for tax credit legislation that could help utility companies invest in renewable energy and save customers money at the same time. "Wind energy is such a big part of Amarillo. We want to make sure that they are in tune to us so that we're getting cuts not only on the production side, but also on the consumer side. You don't want renewable energy to be so expensive no one can afford it," said Harrison.
The chamber also asked for continued funding to support agriculture research at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and at WT.
"I think it's important that we go up there because I think it's something that shows in Amarillo we're not ones to sit back or take a back seat to anything," added Harrison. "We'll go up there and say hey, these are issues that are important to us and this is how we feel about it. It's important that we continue to do that."
The chamber makes the trip to D.C. every two years to discuss their latest issues.
Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10