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More than 350 ABC members and chapters traveled to Washington D.C., June 12 to meet their members of Congress. They also heard from Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) during the ABC Legislative Conference breakfast.

In his speech, Mullin, an ABC member and freshman congressman representing Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, talked about jobs, health care and being a business owner. He pointed out that his experience as an ABC member and a business owner have made him an even stronger advocate for important construction industry issues and he reiterated the importance of ABC members making their voices heard.

“I’m telling you, your voice goes a long way, as long as you're consistent, unified in what you’re saying and you stay on the throttle…meaning hold us all accountable, that’s including myself,” he said. 

Harris, who is the sponsor of the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 436), a bill that would prohibit government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on federally funded construction projects, talked about the negative effects of PLAs and the benefits of Right to Work laws.

“When we build fewer projects because of project labor agreements, we put ourselves at an economic disadvantage to our international competitors, and we can’t afford to do that,” Harris said.

Finally, Lee discussed the health care law and immigration reform. Specifically, he cited a provision in the Senate’s immigration bill that would limit the number of temporary worker visas for the construction industry to 33 percent, or 15,000, whichever is fewer.
“To my knowledge, there is no other industry, not one other industry, that is targeted and singled out for disparate, unfair treatment like that,” he said. “It’s certainly no way to deal with one of the most important drivers of economic growth in America and I think this bill inexcusably singles out your industry for disparate and unfair treatment.”

After hearing from Mullin, Harris and Lee, the attendees went to Capitol Hill to visit with their members of Congress about key issues to ABC and the merit shop construction industry.