Capitol Summit 2019

January 16-16, 2021 -



OIA members, we need YOUR voice in our nation’s capitol for OIA’s annual Capitol Summit! Taking the time to come to D.C. allows your business to form lasting and beneficial relationships with key decision makers. OIA ensures that you will be heard.

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Capitol Summit is the outdoor industry’s premiere advocacy event in Washington, D.C. Industry executives from across the country come to educate their elected officials in Congress on key issues impacting their businesses. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from agency, administration and elected officials during our education sessions, and build valuable relationships with your industry peers.


This event provides great insight into our government’s decision-making process in Washington, D.C. Attendees receive an introductory training on lobbying as well as education on OIA’s policy agenda and legislative priorities. We will serve as your guide to navigating the Hill and provide timely background information and training on the industry’s policy agenda, legislative priorities and members of Congress. Attendees will leave with a full understanding of how to schedule and conduct congressional meetings on the Hill as well as tools and skills to take home and make an impact in your state.


Capitol Summit builds the outdoor industry’s relationship with Congress by discussing our business issues and their related decisions, face to face. After each Capitol Summit, leaders in Congress champion our issues, sign on to sponsor and co-sponsor relevant legislation, circulate our legislation to their peers and across the aisle, attend Outdoor Retailer and arrange tours of companies’ facilities in their home state. Capitol Summit has direct results at engaging Congress in the outdoor industry.


Paul Begala is a political commentator, a professor of public policy, an author, and political strategist.

He is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that has won both an Emmy
Award and a Peabody Award. His commentary and analysis can be seen on CNN shows including AC 360,
Cuomo PrimeTime, OutFront with Erin Burnett, and The Lead with Jake Tapper. He also writes an opinion
column that appears on With over 200,000 Twitter followers, Paul has a robust social media
presence as well.

Paul is the author of five books about politics, several of which were New York Times bestseller. He has
been a columnist for Newsweek as well. In the 1990’s Paul helped his friend John F. Kennedy, Jr. launch
the political magazine George and wrote the “Capitol Hillbilly” column.

Paul has taught at three universities: The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught in the School of
Journalism; the University of Georgia, where he taught in the School of Law; and Georgetown University,
where he has been an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy in the McCourt School of Public Policy for 18

Begala burst on the political scene in 1992 as a senior strategist for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign.
He served as Counselor to the President in the White House, helping coordinate policy, politics, and
media. Before working for Pres. Clinton, Paul worked on Capitol Hill and advised campaigns across
America. In 2016 he played a crucial role in the Obama-Biden re-election campaign.

Paul has also done campaign work overseas, including in Israel, Europe, South America, the Caribbean,
and Africa.

Former President Bill Clinton described his longtime friend and former aide as, “a witty dynamo from
Sugar Land, Texas…who brought energy, focus and credibility to our efforts.”

Capitol Summit Asks

Every spring, Outdoor Industry Association invites industry executives and leaders to Washington D.C. to meet with elected and administration officials on issues critical to the outdoor economy and industry. Whether or not you plan to attend Capitol Summit your voice on our 2019 issues or “asks” is critical to furthering our policy agenda.

Our nation’s national parks have failed to receive the dedicated funding to address serious maintenance problems. Needed repairs range from unmaintained trails to crumbling roads to visitor centers built 50 years ago. One-third of the backlog consist of critical projects that must be completed to avoid irreparable damage. Over half of the nearly $12 billion backlog consists of transportation-related projects such as roads, bridges, trails and tunnel repairs. Forty percent of the 10,000 miles of park roads are said to be in poor or fair condition.

Senators Portman (R-OH), Warner (D-VA), Alexander (R-TN) and King (I-ME) and Representatives Bishop (R-UT-01) and Kilmer (D-WA-06) recently reintroduced the Restore Our Parks Act (S. 500) and Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 1225) to address these and other park maintenance problems. The legislation establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that provides 50 percent of unallocated receipts from oil, gas, coal and alternative and renewable energy development up to $1.3 billion per year over five years.

Outdoor recreation represents a growing segment of the U.S. economy and is a significant economic driver, supporting 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual revenue. How we manage public lands and how we can enhance opportunities to enjoy these lands and waters are of critical importance. OIA and a broad range of organizations and companies that represent and support outdoor programming on public lands came together five years ago to solve these recreational access issues. By introducing the SOAR Act, Senators Heinrich (D-NM) and Capito (R-WV) are leading the way on permitting reforms to ensure more Americans experience our public lands through an outdoor program or with a guide.

Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Bishop (R-UT) are tackling other land management barriers impacting outdoor recreation. This Congress, they are poised to reintroduce the Recreation Not Red Tape Act to remove barriers to outdoor recreation and make it easier for more Americans to get outdoors. These two bills could form the basis of a larger package of bills that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Committee on Natural Resources could bundle together as part of a larger outdoor recreation access package. By getting a large number of co-sponsors for these bills, we can demonstrate there is deep bipartisan support for this effort.

In an effort to compel the Chinese government to improve its protection of U.S. intellectual property, President Trump implemented a plan to substantially increase import tariffs—or taxes—on products sourced from China, including several from outdoor companies. More than $250 billion in tariffs have been imposed to date.

The United States and China appear to be making progress in the negotiations, and we are pleased the Trump administration is holding off on raising any additional tariffs at this time. Nevertheless, uncertainty about a final deal and whether existing tariffs will be removed, or additional tariffs will be imposed continues to harm our industry. This uncertainty prevents outdoor companies from focusing on growing their business through new product development, new job hires and souring opportunities.
Many companies are looking to diversify their supply chain to avoid being caught up in this sort of dispute. However, China continues to dominate the market and is the only country with the infrastructure and skilled workforce that can produce outdoor products in the volumes and prices consumers demand.

We strongly urge the administration to resolve the trade dispute with China and remove additional tariffs on outdoor products. In the meantime, we support legislation introduced by Senators Lankford (R-OK) and Coons (D-DE) and Representatives Kind (D-WI) and Walorski (R-IN) that would allow outdoor companies to petition the federal government to exempt products from the additional 10 percent tariff.

Climate change has led to longer and hotter summers, prolonged droughts, increasingly devastating forest fires, rising sea levels, reduced river flows and an unreliable snowpack. These changes, impact the safety and quality of outdoor experiences.

These changes also result in a decrease in predictability, impacting businesses across the industry: manufacturers decisions regarding the types and numbers of product they make, retailers trying to forecast for future seasons knowing the past few have had major fluctuations and guides whose livelihoods rely on the outdoors being accessible and safe. There is an increased need and urgency to address the causes of climate change and mitigate and adapt to their impacts.

The outdoor industry is uniquely positioned to help in this transition through our commitment to and leadership in driving sustainable business practices, our ability to bridge partisan divides to find common sense solutions and our role as an economic driver that can be a part of a broader economic transition to a more sustainable economy.

It is important that we work to bring elected officials to the table to discuss solutions and encourage thinking about climate solutions in various types of legislation that move through Congress. Now is the time to work with the newly formed House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and partners in the Senate to discuss these important issues and create bipartisan momentum toward solutions.

Take Action

Head over to our advocacy center to find your legislator and let them know how big the Outdoor Recreation Economy is and why they should support our asks.

Take Action

Raise Your Voice

Your story matters and can make a difference when it comes to local, state and federal outdoor recreation and trade policy. Hear what your OIA peers are saying about the value and impact of advocacy, and find out how you can join the effort.

Easy Ways to Engage

Sign up for Policy Alerts – we’ll keep you posted on what’s happening in D.C. as well as locally.

Get involved with our Advisory Councils.

Vote the Outdoors – we’ve built out a congressional scorecard so you can see how your representatives are voting on issues that effect the outdoor industry.

Tuesday 4/30

Wednesday 5/1


If you have any questions about how to sponsor this event contact Andrew Pappas.

For more info about our sponsors and why they are at Capitol Summit visit here.

Tuesday 4/30

Wednesday 5/1