It is crazy how fast this first week in Washington has gone by. When I first got here I thought things would be a little slow as we (Dana, the other extern and I) got ourselves organized and set up some meetings, but that is not how it has gone. As you can tell by the fact that it is late Friday afternoon and I am just now sitting down to send out and update.
Yesterday we went to a few PAC events on behalf of the AVMA. My favorite of these was the lunch; there were three members of the House of Representatives and only about 25 people at the lunch. At one point one of the members, asked if there were any issues we wanted to discuss. Talk about jumping right in! We talked about a DEA issue that effects veterinarians. As it stands, right now vets who take controlled substances out on mobile calls are technically breaking the law. For the last few years the DEA has used enforcement discretion to allow mobile practitioners to continue to function, but the AVMA is asking that a more permanent solution be found. Congressman Schrader (D-Ore.) is planning to send the DEA a letter asking them to come to the table and talk about what needs to be done. It is the first step but the AVMA is trying to ensure that it is a firm one. Needless to say it was a bit nerve racking to talk to three members of Congress about it, but when we saw the Lobbyist from Rolls-Royce the next day she said we had done a good job, so hey at least we didn’t fall on our faces.
One of the other fun things we have gotten to do this week is attend a Farm Bill Now rally. I got a big sign (as you can see)! It was interesting to see the diverse interest groups that really want a new 5 year Farm Bill. I also got to see Senator Debbie Stabenow speak, and I don’t care what party you are, if you love Ag you have got to love this lady.
I cannot wait to see what next week, and the rest of the month brings!