After a dramatic—and at times, chaotic first week of Congress, a new Speaker of the House was finally elected. In a historic fifteen rounds of voting, Kevin McCarthy of California at last received enough votes by the Republican caucus to take the gavel; and now, the 118th Congress can get to work.
What does it mean for the utility construction industry? The process the country just witnessed this past week is a key indicator of what’s to come in the next two years, as a small band of far-right hardliners take center stage and exert disproportionate power over the party. Based on their rhetoric and concessions exacted from McCarthy in order to reach the Speakership, federal spending will be on the chopping block.
Fortunately, and in anticipation of such a scenario, NUCA and its chapters have lobbied over the past eighteen months to secure funding in many of the areas that matter to utility contractors, ultimately finishing the year with the adoption of WRDA. While spending may be more difficult to secure moving forward, it is our hope that the more conservative leaning House will curb unnecessary red tape and onerous mandates in the areas of environmental regulation, labor, and permitting. NUCA and NUCA NJ will continue to work with friends on both sides of the aisle to advocate for causes important to our industry in the new year and beyond.