Late in his successful White House campaign, GOP candidate Donald Trump introduced what he called “a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports and waterways, and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system.” Construction interests take those observations to heart, along with the effect of a Trump Administration on federal agencies driving employment, environmental and land management policy.
“Donald Trump has continually stated his intention to invest up to $1 trillion in our country’s infrastructure and rebuild America’s roads, bridges and highways. He also promised to issue a temporary moratorium on new regulations that are not compelled by Congress and eliminate existing ones like EPA’s controversial Waters of the United States rule,” says National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association CEO Michael Johnson. The participation of thousands of stakeholders in the Vote Aggregates campaign, he added in a post-election statement, “is a great sign that our members are working to ensure that the aggregates industry’s voice will be heard in this and future elections so that lawmakers understand the value of our operations.”
“President-elect Trump will have a ‘can do’ industry as his partner in rebuilding and expanding the nation’s transportation infrastructure to make it again second to none,” affirms American Road & Transportation Builders Association CEO Pete Ruane. “Republicans in Congress should heed the call of their party’s leader and make urgently-needed improvements of national infrastructure networks a top priority in early 2017 … Republicans and Democrats have routinely worked in a bipartisan manner to support infrastructure legislation. All sides should view a long-term infrastructure package as an opportunity to come together and make meaningful progress for the American people.”
“Associated Builders and Contractors looks forward to working with this administration to craft policies rooted in free enterprise that will encourage open competition and result in greater business investment and more construction jobs,” notes ABC President Michael Bellaman. “With his background in real estate and development, Donald Trump is very familiar with the obstacles to economic growth ABC members face, including our broken regulatory system, the increasingly difficult challenge of finding affordable health care coverage for employees, a growing shortage of appropriately skilled labor, and the highest effective tax rate of any industry. We urge his administration to implement policies that guarantee a fair and level playing field for all contractors, regardless of labor affiliation, such as prohibiting the government from mandating discriminatory project labor agreements.”
TOP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE CONTRIBUTORS: CAT, NSSGA, NRMCA, OLDCASTLE
|National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Government Affairs staff charted the positive outcome of races involving Congressional candidates friendly to concrete production and end-use markets.|
Using Federal Election Commission data through late October, the Center for Responsive Politics tracked major supporters of political action committees (PAC) representing concrete, aggregate, cement and asphalt production interests. Among Building Materials & Equipment, one of six Construction Sector categories, are these leading PAC contributors to 2016 federal office candidates:
- Caterpillar Inc., $931,000
- National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, $919,000
- National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, $423,500
- Oldcastle Materials, $369,400
- Cemex Inc., $305,000
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers, $178,500*
- Lehigh Hanson Inc., $113,000
- Associated Equipment & Distributors, $106,000
Other major category contributors are Ash Grove Cement, $86,500; National Asphalt Pavement Association, $72,500; LafargeHolcim, $72,000; Portland Cement Association, $61,000; Vulcan Materials, $60,900; and, CalPortland Co., $54,000. Of the $14,465,148 the Center for Responsive Politics tallied through late October in Construction Sector PAC contributions to federal candidates, $11,332,650 went to Republicans, $3,115,898 to Democrats. In addition to Building Materials & Equipment, the sector spans five other categories:
- Construction Services; American Council of Engineering Companies, $1.4 million, top contributor;
- General Contractors; Associated Builders & Contractors, $1,050,000 and Associated General Contractors of America, $607,500, top contributors;
- Home Builders; National Association of Home Builders, $1.8 million; and,
- Special Trade Contractors; National Association of Electrical Contractors, $1,015,000.
The Center for Responsive Politics operates the widely subscribed www.opensecrets.org, and bills itself as “nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit [and] the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.”
* Building Materials & Equipment-aligned AEM listed here, but included in the Center for Responsive Politics’ Miscellaneous Manufacturing & Distributing Sector.
HOUSE PASSES CONCRETE MASONRY PRODUCTS PROMOTION ACT
On the opening day of the 114th Congress lame duck session, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 by a 355–38 vote. The legislation authorizes the concrete masonry industry to pursue the creation of an industry-wide check-off program. Such programs have positioned other industries to pool resources to support commodity product market development efforts.
“The attributes of concrete masonry are well suited to constructing modern, high-performing buildings. A concrete masonry check-off program will simply enable our industry to better organize to promote those values to the marketplace,” says National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Patrick Sauter (Kings Material LLC). “This is an important step in achieving the necessary authorization for the program before we can present the program for final approval by the concrete masonry manufacturing companies operating in America.”
Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) sponsored the bill and were successful in compiling an impressive co-sponsor list of 247 colleagues, balanced with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The list is indicative of active grassroots efforts on behalf of the concrete masonry industry. — www.cmucheckoff.com