Concrete execs urge solution on infrastructure ahead of Wednesday meeting

An alliance of the nation's top concrete executives is urging the White House and Congress to find a solution on infrastructure. 

“We don’t have any time to waste. We urge the President and Congress to give voters a vision. Give voters a plan. And most importantly, give House and Senate members the help they need to support a plan. The time has come to get this job done,” the North American Concrete Alliance said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement comes a day before Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi hits Trump on health care: His 'cruel hypocrisy knows no bounds' Pelosi hits Trump on health care: His 'cruel hypocrisy knows no bounds' On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerUS women's soccer team reignites equal pay push Blue Dogs look to move forward on infrastructure project Democratic strategist says Republicans are turning immigration debate into 'political football' MORE (D-N.Y.) and President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE plan to meet for a second time to discuss infrastructure solutions. The first meeting took place in April, when leaders agreed to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure package. 

Members of the alliance who spoke to The Hill said they all support raising the gas tax to provide funding for Infrastructure.

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“I think it provides the most immediate impact. It’s an accepted form of funding infrastructure. To me, long term we do need to explore other avenues of funding it but all of those have extremist complications right now,” Tom Beck, president of Continental Cement, based in Missouri, told The Hill.

Beck is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Portland Cement Association.

Allen Hamblen, chief executive officer and president at CalPortland Company Inc., based in California, said his company “absolutely” supports the gas tax. They operate all over the West Coast and have about 2,500 vehicles on the road.

“It’s an issue that clearly we have an invested interest in seeing a gas tax passed because it increases construction but, as a significant user of the roads, we also see a value in improving our transportation,” he told The Hill.

Bill Sandbrook, CEO of US Concrete, based in Texas, called a gas tax the “fairest and most direct means to address this problem, as well as the most expedient.”

Another company echoed labeling a gas tax as the fairest means to get infrastructure paid for.

“We really think it has to be part of a discussion, seriously considered as the fairest, fastest, and most practical way to jump start infrastructure improvements and to get money back into the system,” Thomas Chizmadia, senior vice president of government affairs and communications of Lehigh Hanson, Inc., based in Texas, told The Hill.

After the first meeting, the GOP congressional caucus warned against the $2 trillion price tag and warned they would oppose any measure that could add the deficit. While it’s an uphill battle for Republicans to get on board, members of the alliance didn’t find issue with it.

“I love the sound of a $2 trillion package but it is bold and aggressive,” Beck said. “But I think that’s what we need to fix our problems.”

Sandbrook added that the $2 trillion is “just scratching the surface…if we’re going to compete in the 20thand 21stcentury against global competitors.”