Friday, April 20, 2012

House Budget Threatens Construction Industry

Analysis of the non-binding House budget resolution shows how unfriendly House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues are to the construction businesses in this country. The budget cuts transportation funding 36% from its already inadequate levels, to a mere $31.5 billion, and cuts natural resources and environmental construction funding by 10% to $3.5 billion.  According to National Association of Clean Water Agencies Legislative Affairs Director Pat Sinicropi, the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund would have to significantly reduce the number and value of water related construction projects in the coming years.

With unemployment in the construction sector of our economy still running at more than double the rate of overall unemployment, and with skilled tradespeople being driven into other lines of work in order to feed their families, the impact of these cuts on construction businesses will be felt painfully in both the short and long term. While Senate appropriation measures could prove somewhat more generous that this depressing House blueprint for federal construction funding, the Ryan budget measure is one more example of the preference our elected leaders have for election campaign rhetoric over real solutions to the country’s very real economic difficulties.

If our Senators and Congressmen spent half as much time doing real work towards development of some real job creating legislation as they spend on the floors of their respective chambers slashing each other’s meaningless proposed bills embodying campaign talking points, we might see some job creation and rising economic activity years sooner than is likely in the present gridlocked condition of government in Washington, D.C.
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