North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and others will speak to political advocates and union representatives for firefighters and paramedics Monday in Washington, D.C.
The International Association of Firefighters was a top contributor to Cooper’s 2016 run for governor. The trip is Cooper’s second to Washington, D.C., in as many weeks.
Last weekend, Cooper attended the annual National Governor’s Association winter meeting and also met with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss Hurricane Matthew relief aid. Then, he also discussed Medicaid funding and met with Vice President Mike Pence.
The International Association of Firefighters holds its annual legislative conference next week, fresh off a federal employee hiring freeze that prompted Secretary of Defense James Mattis to take action last month clarifying U.S. fire personnel and other public safety employees, as well as military workers, would be exempt from President Donald Trump’s executive order.
The firefighters union immediately asked Trump’s administration to clarify the order, saying that even though the president gave a general exemption for public safety workers, the order caused confusion for federal firefighter recruitment and resulted in hiring delays at fire departments located on military bases.
Other guest speakers Monday at the firefighters union conference include U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The group represents firefighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada.
Last year, the association opted to skip endorsing either presidential nominee, with association General President Harold Schaitberger saying, “We have two candidates who seem to have trouble telling the truth.”