Unfortunately, your recent article (“Aides Take Advantage of Rules to Extend Trips,” Feb. 5) on congressional staff travel to the International Consumer Electronics Show omits the very reasons that policymakers come to CES in the first place.
Walking CES’ nearly 2 million square feet of floor space, policymakers can see the extraordinary innovation that drives America forward. Mingling with more than 150,000 attendees, they interact with the world’s most brilliant innovators.
Participating in our policy sessions allows members and staff to share ideas with everyone from startup founders to public-interest advocates. If we are to get America moving again, Hill leaders must become familiar with technology and other industries that driving the American economy.
When members and staffers venture beyond the Beltway to learn at CES and other trade shows, the end result is more substantive, better informed policymaking.
Michael Petricone, senior vice president, government affairs, Consumer Electronics Association
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.