Politics and Pie at NATSO Day on the Hill

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.


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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