MRA continues to meet with Congressmen, state legislators, legislative staff and various policy movers and shakers, taking full advantage of the proximity of our Government Affairs office to Capitol Hill to “Shield the Profession” and introduce the research profession and our issues. Read about our activities and interactions from January to July 2009!

MRA Meets State Legislators
In addition to meeting with staff for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, regarding exempting physician incentives from their Marketing Code of Conduct, MRA engaged many legislators and their staff at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Spring Forum. We introduced MRA and legislative issues impacting the survey and opinion research profession and our perspectives on consumer and data privacy. In particular, we engaged Senator Delores Kelley of Maryland, a big proponent of physician incentive reporting legislation, in a constructive discussion on the importance of exempting incentives. MRA also met with legislative staff from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas, Michigan and Ohio.

MRA meets Members of Congress and their staff
In the last several months, MRA discussed numerous legislative issues impacting the survey and opinion research profession with staff and Congressman.

For instance, MRA met with staff for:

  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee, regarding data security and online privacy;
  • Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), regarding transportation data and GPS tracking; and
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), on telecommunications policy and data privacy.

Regarding physician incentives and the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, MRA met with many Congressional staffs, including:

  • Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and the Senate Finance Committee;
  • Co-author, Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)
  • Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
  • Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL); and
  • The Senate Republican Policy Committee

MRA has also met with several freshman Members of Congress since January, including:

  • Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY), on transportation data and GPS tracking;
  • Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY);
  • Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), on healthcare reform;
  • Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-OH);
  • Sen. James E. Risch (R-ID) on healthcare reform; and
  • Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), on the Census and push polls

In addition, MRA met with numerous Members of Congress as part of larger groups:

  • Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY-3), to discuss physician incentives, healthcare reform and the economy;
  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) to discuss consumer privacy, advertising and marketing;
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) to discuss healthcare reform, tax issues and the economy;
  • Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) about the legislative agenda and the economy;
  • Reps. Mark Souder (R-IN), John Culberson (R-TX), Sam Graves (R-MO), Bill Posey (R-FL), Tom Price (R-GA), Geoff Davis (R-KY), to discuss the Census, economic issues, the budget and the legislative agenda.

MRA on Capitol Hill
MRA also participated in many forums and meetings and attended hearings. For example, we:

  • Met with officials from the Census Bureau and other statistical agencies at CNSTAT;
  • Met with the National Political Do Not Contact Registry to advocate that political research calls not be included;
  • Helped organize roundtable on the federal statistical system, featuring stakeholders and statistical agency heads;
  • Attended Congressional hearings on the Census, online behavioral tracking, political communications, telecommunications reform, wireless policy and data security; and
  • Attended forums on healthcare IT privacy issues.

Photo: MRA Director of Government Affairs Howard Fienberg with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)