Local Leaders Arrive in Washington for Talks on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON, DC - For the fourteenth year, a group of local leaders has arrived in the nation's capital to meet with the Texas delegation in Congress.

The Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce puts together the annual trip, with the leaders paying their own way to discuss issues affecting the region.

"The issues that we're bringing up here impact our local citizens, particularly their pocket book," said Royce Hickman, the president and CEO of the Chamber. "The issues that are important to us are issues that are good for business. They're issues that create jobs, and they save tax dollars, and they create an environment that provides for a good quality of life in Bryan/College Station."

In addition to meetings over two days with the offices of every elected official in Texas -- including with Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz -- the Chamber delegates are slated to have sessions with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

"Quite frankly, our issues are more Texas-based issues than just strictly local because we're talking about things like getting control on government spending, quit borrowing so much money to spend money, those types of things that impact all of us," Hickman said.

The legislative action plan outlined by Chamber committee members hit on five main points: looking for changes to health care legislation that they believe will hurt bottom lines and force layoffs, more fiscal responsibility, a reduction in regulatory and tax burdens on businesses, encouraging economic development (including funding higher education research), and better funding of transportation improvements.