Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer:
With the first session of the 115th Congress behind you, we, the undersigned members of the North American Concrete Alliance (NACA), urge you to quickly move forward on legislation that addresses the mounting crisis of our nation’s failing infrastructure. The decline of our roads, bridges, water systems, and other facilities threatens our competitiveness, prosperity and well-being and becomes costlier to address every day.
NACA is a coalition of concrete-related associations dedicated to addressing industry-wide priorities in the areas of research, education and government affairs. Cement and concrete product manufacturing directly or indirectly employs approximately half a million people, and our collective industries contribute approximately $100 billion to the economy. NACA advocates for increased and efficient federal investment in surface transportation and infrastructure.
America’s economic vitality depends on an integrated, national transportation network that moves goods and people efficiently and safely; and assures the quality of life and economic prosperity for all citizens. America’s health depends on safe and dependable drinking water, and flood control systems that provide the necessary protection from floodwaters. The high quality of life we enjoy as Americans is a direct result of a previous generation of Americans making the difficult but necessary investments in our nation’s infrastructure. We know from this experience that our situation, while challenging, is not insurmountable.
We are encouraged by the proposal being crafted by the Trump Administration and hopeful that their efforts may serve as an important component of such legislation. Congress should use the coming months to craft and pass bipartisan legislation that provides for robust investment in infrastructure with a sustainable long-term funding mechanism for the highway trust fund, thereby positioning the U.S. economy for continued growth. Considering that the investment gap is well over a trillion dollars, any meaningful solution will require a significant increase in revenue.
What we in effect have been doing in recent years is freeloading on investments made by a previous generation of Americans that were willing to make the tough but necessary investments in this country’s future success. However, not only are we freeloading on those investments, we’re squandering those investments by allowing our infrastructure to crumble and collapse, and we’re doing it under the false pretense of fiscal conservatism. There is nothing conservative about allowing the very thing that allows our commerce and economic growth to flourish, namely our infrastructure, to fall apart. The truth of the matter is that we need to repair and in large part rebuild our surface transportation infrastructure, and this is going to cost money. This is clearly an investment worth making. The longer Congress waits to do this, the greater the damage will be to both our mobility and economic growth.
NACA looks forward to working with you to address our nation’s infrastructure needs now and in the future.
Jerry Voigt, PE; President & CEO, American Concrete Pavement Association
J. Russell Tripp, PE; President, American Concrete Pipe Association
Richard Mueller, PE; President, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association
Christi E. Collins, Executive Director, American Concrete Pumping Association
Danielle D. Kleinhans, Ph.D., PE; President & CEO, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
James R Baty II, FACI, AIA; Executive Director, Concrete Foundations Association
Robert Thomas, President, National Concrete Masonry Association
Ty E. Gable, FASAE, CAE; President, National Precast Concrete Association
Robert Garbini, PE; President, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
Michael Ireland, President and CEO, Portland Cement Association
Bob Risser, PE; President & CEO, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
Mitchel Bloomquist, Executive Director, Tilt-Up Concrete Association
CC: Members of the United States Congress