When President Trump released his initial plans for a “Skinny Budget” in March, TVS employee Emily Owens was already headed to Washington, D.C. for a SourceAmerica training. Interested in how the proposed cuts to international aid and domestic feeding programs would affect our business, Emily reached out to our elected officials to discuss the subject.
We were pleasantly surprised that, despite the short-notice and amid the hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch, both the offices of Senator Richard Burr and Congressman Mark Meadows granted Emily an appointment.
After dodging protesters calling for no cuts to public television funding and sharply-dressed Capitol regulars rushing to meetings, Emily was met with hospitality and respect from representatives at each office.
Senator Burr’s Legislative Assistant, John McDonald and Legislative Director for Representative Meadows, Graham Haile, each granted Emily ample time to discuss the importance of government contracts to TVS. Because we supply special, fortified cereal for overseas humanitarian aid through the U.S. Agency for International Development and baking and dry milk mixes for feeding programs at home through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cuts to those Federal Departments could mean a significant loss of revenue for TVS as well as the regional economy of Western North Carolina.
All in all, Emily was grateful for Mr. McDonald and Mr. Haile’s time and attention, and she left The Hill hopeful. “I felt heard,” she said. “Graham Haile seemed especially interested. He took notes, asked questions, and focused on the job opportunities at stake that we provide- at that’s what matters most is our people.”