The U.S. Senate last week rejected a proposed amendment to a budget bill that would have limited the number of federal employees that could attend a particular meeting or conference.
The amendment, which would have prevented any federal agency from sending more than 25 employees to a single event, was one of hundreds attached to the first budget bill passed by the U.S. Senate in nearly four years.
The amendments—many of which were not seriously considered—ranged from one that would have denied the United Nations the right to force Americans to register guns to one that would have prevented the regulation of the size of food and beverage containers.
The proposed amendment to limit meeting participation, which was rejected on a voice vote on Thursday, was one of 66 proposals by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
The American Society of Association Executives issued a letter to all members of Congress that said, in part: “The net result [of the amendment’s passage] would be fewer opportunities to learn and exchange information with the private sector. The dialog that takes place at these meetings between government and the private sector is essential to the development of informed policymaking.”