On the opening day of the lame duck session of the 114th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 by a vote of 355 to 38.
The legislation provides authorization for the concrete masonry industry to pursue the creation of an industry-wide commodity check-off program, according to the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA). Such programs have successfully enabled other industries to pool resources to support market development efforts related to the commodity products that they produce.
“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,” said NCMA Chairman of the Board Patrick Sauter of 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.”
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ken.) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) sponsored the bill and were successful in compiling an impressive co-sponsor list of 247 House representatives that was balanced with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The co-sponsor list was indicative of active grassroots effort on behalf of the concrete masonry industry, which has small manufacturing plants in every state in the country and in most congressional districts.