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Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety

Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety
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The National Confectioners Association (NCA) connected candymakers with lawmakers ahead of a unique Halloween through a virtual fly-in this week. 

Over 100 candymakers met with 34 members of Congress including Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial Capitol Police officer hailed as hero for drawing rioters away from Senate chamber Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect MORE (D-Pa.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden DHS, Intel picks stress need to prioritize cybersecurity after SolarWinds hack Senators vet Mayorkas to take lead at DHS Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article MORE (R-Ohio), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGovernment used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 Appeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (R-Pa.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE (D-N.J.).

They also met with Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), David JoyceDavid JoyceHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor MORE (R-Ohio), Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiDemocrat rips Sackler family, Purdue doctors during House questioning Enforcing the Presidential Records Act is essential for preserving our democracy's transparency, history Clinton offers congratulations over Elliot Page announcement MORE (D-Ill.), Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration House GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Scalise labels Capitol rioting 'domestic terrorism' MORE (R-La.) and Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierGlobal Gag Rule is just the tip of the iceberg: Why Repealing the Helms Amendment matters Democrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress moves to avert shutdown as virus talks stall again MORE (D-Calif.). Meetings spanned over three weeks and are concluding on Friday.

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The virtual meetings covered NCA’s lobbying priorities around the coronavirus pandemic like COVID-19 liability protections, Paycheck Protection Program loans and unemployment insurance. They also covered issues like pensions, trade and reforming the U.S. sugar program.

The candymakers talked to members about celebrating Halloween safely during the pandemic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published guidance in September advising against "higher risk activities" that could contribute to the spread of COVID-19, including traditional trick-or-treating, indoor costume parties and visiting haunted houses.

“There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween,” the guidance reads, before listing “lower risk” activities, like pumpkin carving with members of your household.

The guidance follows a letter from a bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress to CDC Director Robert Redfield in August, asking the agency to issue public comment on the advisability of community activities for Halloween.

Halloween is the first major holiday during the coronavirus that is putting the candy industry in the spotlight. Candymakers later will face Christmas and Valentine’s Day during the pandemic as well.

But, Halloween is off to a good start. A recent NCA poll found that Americans are purchasing more Halloween candy and sales were up 13 percent over last year in the month ending Sept. 6. Sales of Halloween chocolate alone are up 25 percent.