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House Speaker Hastert Meets With ARA Reps

Wed September 03, 2003 - National Edition

U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., held a private meeting with representatives from the American Rental Association (ARA) in Moline, IL., on Wednesday, Aug. 27, to discuss legislative issues important to the rental industry. Hastert is the third highest elected official in the United States.

ARA Chairman of the Board Dave Wilcox II, ARA CEO Christine Wehrman, and Terry Bryant, a rental store owner and veteran ARA member, met with Hastert, who is serving his ninth term as the Republican Congressman for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. A series of communiqués between Hastert’s office and John McClelland, ARA senior director of government affairs, led to the visit.

"We have always had an excellent relationship with Speaker Hastert’s office and I was very pleased when they offered us this meeting with him," said McClelland.

Bryant and Wilcox are no strangers to the ARA political scene having attended the association’s Legislative Caucus for many years. They immediately seized the opportunity to meet with Hastert and advance the interests of ARA. "I am honored and privileged to have had this opportunity to discuss important legislative issues on behalf of ARA members with one of the nation’s highest-ranking political leaders," says Wilcox. "Being able to meet with Speaker Hastert underscores the power of an active government affairs program," says Bryant.

Hastert and the ARA trio discussed a number of issues from ARA’s legislative agenda including the highway funding bill, surge brakes, nonroad diesel emissions, Section 179

expensing, association health plans, and the estate tax. A co-sponsor of the estate tax legislation, he describes the bill as practical and a priority. "We need to get it done. It’s just common sense," he said. The Speaker also asked ARA to keep him informed on progress toward resolving the surge brake issue.

"This meeting with the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was a very special opportunity for ARA," said Wehrman. "Speaker Hastert knows businesses large and small are important for economic growth and jobs so he was quite interested to know how ARA member companies are faring in the current economy."

For more information about ARA’s Government Affairs program, contact McClelland at 202-289-4460 or john.mcclelland@