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Published on February 2nd, 2021 | by Ken Klein

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Who Are New Members of Congress?

Ken Klein

Ken Klein OAAA Executive Vice President, Government Affairs


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Who are new members of Congress on the committee important to out of home (OOH) advertising?  Four mayors, eight women, a Marine, and one Waffle House waitress.

Seventeen newcomers were assigned to the US House Transporation & Infrastructure Committee (seven Democrats and 10 Republicans). This committee is responsible for the Highway Beautifcaiton Act that regulates billboards.

Every two years — after the election — Republicans and Democrats assign their members in Congress to committees.  Here are four take-aways:

Local officials are VERY important.

Most newcomers to the House Transportation panel were local officials, serving in local government and-or representing local districts in state legislatures. Their views are formed at the local level, and when they get to Congress, they are sensitive to the views of local officials.

Bipartisanship is important.

These newcomers span the political spectrum. Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-GA) chaired the Georgia Democratic Party; Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-CA) ran as a pro-Trump conservative opposed to abortion, same-sex marriage, Obamacare, and Covid mandates.

Our goal is to work with everyone.

Know your elected officials.

Fort Bend County (Texas) Sheriff Troy Nehls, R-TX, was elected to Congress on November 3, 2020. “Troy Nehls is my rep. I know him and his twin brother very well,” says Lee Vela of Clear Channel Outdoor.

In Tennessee, Martin Daniel of Elevation Outdoor (who served in the Tennessee General Assembly) knows Tim Burchett, R-TN, the former mayor of Knox County.

Those in power come from all walks of life.

These newcomers to the House Transportation Commmittee personify varied backgrounds. Cuban-born Carlos Gimenez, R-FL, was a firefighter. Kai Kahele, D-HA, a pilot, played Division I volleyball.  Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-NJ, was a dentist.

And Nancy Mace, R-SC, was a waitress at Waffle House, a job she touted in her ads (click here).



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