Tell Congress to Amend the Federal Travel Restrictions (new update)

Legislative Update from the American Society of Association Executives:

Since we delivered a sign-on letter to Congress last week with 2,100 signatures, the Obama administration has responded with a directive to federal agencies to cut their travel budgets for fiscal year 2013 by 30 percent and cap spending on government-sponsored conferences at $500,000. These new restrictions apply only to government travel and conference spending, and do not have the broader implications for association and other private sector meetings that were evident in the amendments cleared by the House and Senate just prior to the last Congressional recess.

However, it’s clear that many legislators on Capitol Hill feel the administration’s guidance to federal agencies does not go far enough to curb wasteful and inefficient spending. For this reason, we remain concerned that Congress will insert language into another legislative vehicle that includes broader restrictions on non-governmental meetings and conferences where government employees can learn about challenges facing the private sector and maintain a dialogue with the businesses and industries regulated by the government.

To protect this dialogue and prevent any unintended consequences for association and other non-governmental conferences, send a personalized message to your members of Congress asking them to support the following specific changes to the amendments that passed the House and Senate.

  1. Change the definition of a conference to apply only to government-sponsored meetings as intended, and not include meetings and conferences held by associations and other private sector organizations.
  2. Strike the provision in the amendment that restricts agencies from attending more than one conference held by a private organization per fiscal year.

We continue to make progress in educating Congress about the unintentionally broad scope of these travel restrictions, but the issue remains very fluid and unpredictable on Capitol Hill. Thank you for adding your voice to our advocacy efforts.

Send a personal message through this link:

If you have any questions, contact us at 202.626.2703 or


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