The Midterm Elections are over and as the pundits were saying right up until the last votes were counted, we are looking at a divided government. The initial reaction from many is that this is going to result in a bad case of gridlock. Maybe so, but oddly enough, I have read the words of some people who think the glass is in fact half full.
On paper, one can imagine the Democratic House of Representatives on one side sharpening up their knives to carve up the Trump Administration, and Trump and the Senate on the other side, adopting a defensive position that results in nothing getting done. But consider these positives.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is first in line to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee under the new Democratic House majority. The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) said it has a great working relationship with the new majority committee staff. An advocate of increasing funding for the Highway Trust Fund, DeFazio has vowed that a top priority will be making the Trust Fund solvent.
A Democratic majority in the House could mean additional hearings for committees with oversight of the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. NSSGA president and CEO Michael Johnson explained that people from aggregates companies now have an opportunity to educate about the importance of aggregates and the costs of overly burdensome regulations.
Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) President Brian P. McGuire said the association “looks forward to working with all lawmakers, regardless of political party, to pursue pro-growth policies that expand equipment markets and lower our members’ cost-of-doing business. During the past two years, AED has laid the groundwork to engage Republicans and Democrats in Washington, positioning the association to work on a bipartisan basis regardless of party control. Divided government provides a unique opportunity for Congress and the president to work across the aisle to solve the biggest issues facing the United States, such as rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.”
McGuire hit it on the head. Infrastructure is the one area where these two divergent sides can come together. But will they? They can either do what is right for the American people or stay entrenched in fighting positions. If that happens, nobody wins.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor