September 4, 2008, Reston, VA - A delegation of MAPPS members were provided the rare opportunity of sit in seats in the members seats on the floor of the United States House of Representatives yesterday, occupying seats usually reserved for members of Congress. MAPPS members were the guests of House Republican Whip, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), to sit in the House chamber and hear Republican members of Congress discuss the need for national energy legislation.
Since Congress recessed on August 1, Republican members of the House of Representatives have been speaking in the House Chamber on the national energy policy, objecting to Congress recessing without debating or voting on energy legislation. Members of Congress have been bringing groups of citizens into the House chamber to witness the debate. MAPPS members yesterday heard from Representatives John Carter (R-TX), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Randy Kuhl (R-NY).
MAPPS does not have a position on the energy bill and is not endorsing the Republicans' actions.
Following their time in the House Chamber, MAPPS members enjoyed a working lunch at the Capitol Hill Club with guest speaker Ms. Erin Kanoy, Legislative Director to Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL). Ms. Kanoy briefed MAPPS members on new contracting out/government competition legislation, the Competitive Open Markets Protection (COMP) Act, to be introduced when Congress returns to Washington, DC later this month. The COMP Act requires Federal agencies to put commercial activities currently performed in-house out for competitive procurement involving the private sector.
"The intention of the COMP Act is to create more opportunity for private sector businesses to compete for government contracts using the 'Yellow Book' test," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "The test simply says, 'if you can find a business in the Yellow Pages that can do something, the government does not need to be doing it'."
MAPPS Washington Policy Forums are held on a quarterly basis in Washington, D.C. allowing for MAPPS members to gain information on legislation, policy and Federal agency initiatives throughout the year.
Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. MAPPS provides its members opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement. For more information on MAPPS, please visit www.MAPPS.org.