The message from National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) President & CEO Michael Johnson is diplomatic, but also direct: Americans have always rallied around building a better country for their children and their children‘s children, and today should be no different.
Johnson is back in D.C. after a business trip and chisels out some time to talk with the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition for its new podcast. He’s aware of the distractive politics tied to the bipartisan infrastructure investment bill passing, so he discusses the long-standing federal role of maintaining, modernizing and rebuilding the United States’ time-worn infrastructure, including roads, bridges and public transit.“
Throughout our history, Republicans and Democrats have come together to make the necessary investments in infrastructure to keep our country going,” says Johnson. “… In a world economy, the ability for us to move goods throughout our economy efficiently [and] to get things from production to port, from port to market, all of that simply makes it easier for us to compete on a world stage in a way that makes us stronger.”
NSSGA was a constant advocate for getting a bipartisan bill through Congress that addresses vast traditional infrastructure needs but also a next-generation game plan. From the initial discussion stage, to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) and then to the final Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), NSSGA and its members were influencers.
Johnson is pointed about the slant that bipartisan investment in America’s hard infrastructure — which in today’s world spans rural broadband and water systems, to highways, airports, bus rapid transit (BRT), and passenger rail — is socialism. Johnson says this viewpoint is dangerous.