The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has scratched a half dozen fundraising events for House Republicans this fall because Congress isn’t doing enough to support its legislative priorities.
The trade group’s main beef with Congress is the failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which provides loan guarantees to some of its largest members. But NAM is also miffed by lawmakers’ inability to adopt a long-term surface transportation bill.
“In light of a lack of legislative movement on policies critical to the growth and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, NAM is taking a step back to evaluate how best to move these bills through Congress,” Ned Monroe, NAM senior vice president of external relations said in a Aug. 27 statement reported by several media outlets.
It is not immediately clear whether any other associations or other political groups will adopt NAM’s strategy of withholding fundraising support to members of Congress, which had an 82 percent disapproval at the beginning of its August recess. With six years of short-term highway and public transportation bills and more than $60 billion in temporary Highway Trust Fund patches, many within the transportation construction industry have questioned whether members of Congress from both parties deserve our political support.
The good news is the Senate passed a multi-year surface transportation program reauthorization in July and House action is planned later this month. While there is much work to be done, the momentum for meaningful action this year is at its highest since Congress passed the last long-term highway/transit bill in 2005.