ABMA Meets with Sen. Blumenthal’s Office
A Follow-Up Discussion on ABMA’s Priority Issues
RENNSELAER, N.Y. – On Tuesday, August 16th, the American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) met with the office of Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) to discuss its priority issues of workforce development (WFD), supply-chain disruptions, and the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA).
One of ABMA’s goals as a federal advocacy committee is to ensure follow-up on its priority issues through lobbying efforts, grassroots initiatives, virtual meetings, and more. This meeting was one of many of those efforts.
“It is imperative that we carry out our commitment to following-up on our priority issues,” said ABMA Chair Joe Cecarelli. “As a CT native, I was happy to do so with my home Senator’s office, because that’s where it all starts. If we want to make change we have to get in front of our local representatives, and I’m thankful Senator Blumenthal’s office was receptive to our concerns.”
The Advocacy Week priority issues highlighted were the Employer-Directed Skills Act (HR6255) and the LICENSE Act (HR6567/S3556). As inflation is a large-scale problem across all industries that is already receiving a lot of federal attention, ABMA decided to highlight the need for a new SLA.
“The ABMA continues to push for development of programs and passage of legislation that will help improve the lumber and building materials (LBM) industry,” said Katherine Slye-Hernandez, PhD, ABMA Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. “A new SLA would ensure more predictability in lumber pricing for Americans while the LICENSE and Employer-Directed Skills Acts would help get more CDL drivers on the road and encourage America’s youth to explore the building trades as a profession.”
Regarding HR6255, many Democratic legislators outside of the bill’s Republican co-sponsors have expressed their support. Sen. Blumenthal’s staff said he is on the lookout for a Senate version of the bill. When it comes to HR6567/S3556, the Senator’s staff said he has been active in Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) issues, most notable with the Infrastructure Bill passed earlier this year. The Senator’s team asked about support from union and safety advocacy supporters, and ABMA will follow-up with them on that issue. Sen. Blumenthal’s staff will bring to the Senator’s attention the need for a new SLA and the possibility of signing on to a bipartisan letter to Ambassador Katherine Tai.
These issues will continue to be ABMA’s top priorities. Be on the lookout for ABMA action alerts and follow-up with federal legislators on the LBM industry’s behalf.
ABMA, established in August 2021, is a committee of unified voices advocating on behalf of the lumber and building materials (LBM) industry at the federal level. ABMA currently represents LBM dealers and associated businesses in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. The mission of the ABMA is to advance, shape, and influence policy in all branches of government. We work directly with members of Congress, the White House, and federal agencies to impact the legislative and regulatory process as it affects the LBM industry. ABMA is powered by the NRLA and Construction Suppliers Association (CSA).