There’s little doubt that we live in a heightened political time. Even though the current Congress only began in January, we are already in the middle of the 2020 election cycle. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, we can all agree that there is a lot at stake.
One of ACMA’s core functions is to make sure that the composites industry has a voice on the issues that impact your business. It’s easy to watch or read the news and be discontented over the many things Washington doesn’t seem to be doing. But beyond the headlines, you should know that a lot is actually happening on Capitol Hill to keep America moving forward. ACMA remains constantly engaged to assure that legislation and regulation benefits, rather than harms, your businesses and the markets you sell into.
Infrastructure development continues to be a focus for your association. For one, we all drive on and ship products on America’s ailing roads and bridges. We know as well as anyone that they need massive remediation. We also drink the water and know the conditions of many water systems in our country, both rural and urban, are unacceptable for the 21st century. The composites industry has solutions to these problems. ACMA’s job is to insert these solutions in the public policy equation.
If you are a regular Composites Manufacturing reader or keep up with ACMA’s member newsletters Policy Spotlight and Insider, you may be familiar with the IMAGINE Act. This bipartisan legislation is moving through the House and Senate supported by many major trade associations to promote and incentivize the use of innovative and resilient materials in infrastructure renewal. Working with leaders in the House and Senate, ACMA played a major role in the creation of this bill and the strategy to see its tenets signed into law.
Earlier this year, we heard talk of a major infrastructure stimulus package – $2 trillion some said – addressing everything from roads to waterways to airports and even housing and broadband internet. But political realities have set in: It’s hard to find a couple trillion extra dollars and even harder to figure out how to spend it. All is not lost, however. Before the end of next year, Congress must reauthorize surface transportation (highway and bridge) and water infrastructure programs through recurring, “must pass” bills. ACMA is working aggressively to see the IMAGINE water and bridge provisions included in those bills.