On June 25, contractors from across the United States will arrive in Washington, D.C., for face-to-face meetings with congressional members on both sides of the Capitol. Due in part to the tireless grassroots and political efforts of members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the nation’s voters elected a merit shop-friendly congressional majority in November. 

More than half of all U.S. Representatives have now voted or otherwise pledged to curb government-mandated project labor agreements, and with a similarly inclined Senate majority for the first time in nearly a decade, the pieces are finally in place to halt the assault on free enterprise. Now comes the hard part: breaking through the Beltway gridlock and malaise to capitalize on these important victories. With only a brief reprieve before the campaign season begins again in earnest, ABC is leveraging its position as the voice of the construction industry, and reminding members of Congress why they were elected in the first place.

The Obama administration continues its regulatory onslaught on the business community at large, but construction will be particularly hard hit without pushback. Everything from labor relations and air quality standards to immigration and OSHA requirements is on the administration’s front burner. Agency bureaucrats continue to promulgate regulations that solve nonexistent problems. Their desire for a “utopian world” is not based in reality and is simply punishing the backbone of America: small businesses.

As such, participation in the ABC Legislative Conference is very significant. Sharing experiences with members of Congress on how these changes will affect businesses and workers is by far the best way to advocate for the industry. It allows representatives and senators to better understand the issues at the personal level by hearing directly from the people they represent.

ABC’s Legislative Conference is the perfect opportunity to engage Congress to fight on the construction industry’s behalf and remind it of the good work done back home. Additionally, ABC members likely will hear directly from some of the nation’s top political leaders.

As legislative battles heat up, much of the focus going forward will be on funding mechanisms for the government (i.e., the budget and appropriations process), but it is critical to remain vigilant about construction industry issues. Joining the fight for free enterprise at ABC’s Legislative Conference is a key opportunity for both seasoned grassroots activists and those who are new to the political scene.


Prior to ABC’s Legislative Conference, check out “The ABCs of Lobbying” webinar on Tuesday, June 16 at 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.abc.org


Steve Rebillot is director of legislative affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, email rebillot@abc.org or visit legcon.abc.org.