Government Shutdown Frustrating, Bad

Well, the rest of the country is learning what the aggregates and construction industries already know only too well. When Congress drags its feet, or fails altogether to get something done, it is frustrating, maddening, and ultimately bad for the economy.

With us, it is a properly funded and authorized infrastructure bill; for them it is the whole government.

Make no mistake, the shutdown of the federal government will have an impact on the construction industry right as things have been picking up. And when construction is impacted, so is the aggregates industry.

The Federal Highway Administration and other fee-based government agencies that operate on multi-year budgets will remain open, so highway construction and road repaving projects should remain on schedule. We hope.

Total construction spending hit an unknown level in August because the Census Bureau was unable to release new data as a result of the federal government shutdown, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that the impacts of the shutdown will go beyond data as solicitations for many new construction projects come to a halt.

Association officials urged members of Congress to quickly resolve the political impasse that resulted in the federal shutdown. They warned that solicitations for new federal construction projects will be delayed until the federal government reopens. In addition, other federal construction projects may be delayed as many federal supervisors will not be available to answer questions or approve change orders.

The American Institute of Architects called on Congress to settle its differences. They noted that the design and construction industry is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic crises in modern history. The last thing we need is the self-inflicted wound that can potentially further damage the economy. “We urge both political parties to set aside political divisions and put the common good of the American public first,” they said.

I’ve been a keen observer of the political process for many years. It may be a cliché, but I’m sick of what I see in Washington, and something has to change.

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