By: Joseph M. Leone
Construction trade groups offered congratulations and admonitions to President Obama on his re-election. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) offered his congratulations in a statement released on November 7. “The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) congratulates President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States of America and all the lawmakers who were elected to the 113th Congress.” Mr. Rutenberg also admonished the President to address the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” “In the closing weeks of the 112th Congress, NAHB urges President Obama and congressional leaders to work together to resolve issues related to the ‘fiscal cliff’ by extending all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts while being mindful of how broad-based tax reform will affect the fledgling housing recovery.”
American Institute of Architects (AIA) President Jeff Potter urged both parties to work together to solve the country’s current economic problems “[n]ow that the election battle is over, we urge both the White House and the newly elected Congress to launch a new era of statesmanship by putting aside differences on the budget and by enacting policies that will help put the economy on a more solid footing for all Americans.” Mr. Potter similarly implored both sides to resolve the looming fiscal cliff. “In particular, we urge both parties to solve the impending budget impasse known as the ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ where mandatory budget cuts and tax hikes threaten to cost more than 60,000 construction jobs.”
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and Chief Executive Officer Pete Ruane stated, “[w]e congratulate President Obama on his hard fought victory; . . . the centerpiece of both campaigns was about growing the economy, creating jobs and getting America’s fiscal house in order.” Mr. Ruane then put in a plug for the transportation industry, “[d]eveloping a comprehensive solution for the nation’s staggering transportation infrastructure challenges is one of these areas, and is wholly consistent with the economic and budgetary priorities shared by both parties.”
Notwithstanding Wall Street’s immediate negative reaction to the President’s re-election, there may be reason to be optimistic on the economy. Overall construction volume has continued to grow at a steady pace for the last year and a half. Residential construction in particular has shown strong growth especially in the last three to four months. Of course, any hope for continued growth depends on resolution of the “fiscal cliff” before the end of the year.