Joel Hamilton, Joplin 44 Petro, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, NATSO, and Bob Wollenman, Deluxe Truck Stop, met with Michael Lowry, Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri).
NATSO members made their annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill May 15–17, meeting with Senators and Members of Congress to voice how vitally important the truckstop and travel plaza industry is to the national economy and how Congressional votes affect the industry’s ability to thrive.
This year, NATSO members met with legislators on two key issues: the need for Congress to find a sustainable source for highway funding that does not undercut Interstate exit-based businesses through tolling or rest area commercialization, as well as our concerns with efforts to repeal the debit swipe fee reforms.
After a welcome from NATSO staff and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Dan Alsaker, the event kicked off with a regulatory update from John Eichberger, executive director of the non-profit Fuels Institute. Eichberber provided a detailed update on diesel fuel quality issues confronting the travel plaza industry, including corrosion in ULSD tanks, as well as fuel quality issues the trucking industry is confronting. Following Eichberger, Merchant Payments Coalition Legal Counsel Doug Kantor, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, updated attendees on debit and credit swipe fee issues, including an important legislative update as well as information regarding ongoing litigation between merchants and the card companies. Eichberger’s remarks were sponsored by the Center for Quality Assurance.
On Tuesday morning, NATSO held the first ever Human Resources Share Group. The Human Resources Share Group was sponsored by Federated Insurance.
At lunch, attendees heard from American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear who discussed the outlook for President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure proposal as well as tolling initiatives across the United States and the future of autonomous vehicles in trucking.
On Wednesday, May 17, more than 50 NATSO members gathered in Washington, D.C., and met with their elected officials. Wednesday evening NATSO hosted its annual Capitol Hill pie reception, serving nearly 250 pies to legislators and their staff. This annual event carries NATSO’s name to all 535 Members of Congress. The pie reception was sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc., Pilot Flying J, S&D Coffee & Tea and TravelCenters of America.
Photo credit: Charles Archambault
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