An umbrella group of union-affiliated construction associations thanked the president for seeking over a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending in Tuesday’s State of the Union speech but said it had questions on where the money would come from.
President Donald Trump called for $1.5 trillion for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects over the next decade using a combination of federal, state and private sources.
In a statement, the Construction Employers of America said such spending is critical to America’s success.
“Our 15,000 employer members and the 1.4 million American workers we employ commend the president for his commitment to invest heavily in American infrastructure,” the association said. “The president rightly stated, ‘America is a nation of builders.’ CEA and our members appreciate the president’s recognition of the enormous contributions hard-working American construction workers have made to the success of our economic revival. Our economy can only continue to grow and thrive with major investments in our critical infrastructure systems.”
However, the association expressed concern over a lack of specifics in the White House proposal and its funding sources.
“We are eager to review the details of the administration’s proposal as infrastructure has historically been funded primarily through federal grants and programs,” CEA said. “It will be incredibly difficult to shift the enormous costs of roads, waterways, airports, electric systems, telecommunications and public buildings — all of which have regional or national impacts — to local and state governments and private investors.
“Construction Employers of America looks forward to working with President Trump and Congress to ensure this year’s infrastructure bill can truly ‘reclaim our great building heritage,’ as the president stated,” the association said.
CEA’s members include the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, FCA International, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, National Electrical Contractors Association and the Association of Union Constructors.