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How We Are Making Sure Politicians Learn the Right Lessons from the Election

BY STEPHEN E. SANDHERR, AGC CEO

The 2020 elections appear to have delivered simultaneous rebukes to both President Trump and the extreme liberal agenda. While he performed better than most polls predicted, as of this writing, the president’s ongoing efforts to contest the election appear to have little chance of success. Yet enough down ballot elections broke Republicans’ way to make the night much better than anyone expected. Republicans have a good chance of retaining the Senate, they picked up a handful of House seats, flipped one governorship and expanded their reach in state legislatures.

In other words, voters were generally supportive of a center right agenda and signaled their preference for policy priorities that enabled our resili-ent economy to prosper over many of the extreme agenda items espoused by many progressives. It was personality, not policy, that drove away enough voters in enough key states to cost the president the electoral upset he almost pulled off.

Our focus for the coming year is to make sure elected officials in Washington draw the right lessons from the election. It is time to abandon partisan bickering and name calling. And it is also time to abandon many of the extreme left-wing policy priorities — like the Green New Deal and the Pro Act — that so many voters clearly do not support. Instead, we want to work with Congress and the incoming Biden administration to put the focus on rebuilding our economy by restoring infrastructure, reassuring and reviving the private sector.

Boosting funding for infrastructure should be among President-elect Biden’s top priorities, especially given how often he pledged to do that during the campaign. And while we have all seen this movie before, AGC will be making the case that new infrastructure investments will help by putting people to work, boosting demand for equipment and technology and making our economy more efficient and effective.

Part of any new infrastructure commitment must include a multi-year surface transportation bill to fund highway and transit improvements. And Congress needs to find a way to pay for those investments that are stable and sustainable, instead of scrambling every few months to find some temporary patch.

Even as we rebuild our economy, we need to reassure employers that they will be protected from frivolous coronavirus lawsuits. Simply put, our economy will never operate at full speed if every business in America is worried about predatory plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to profit from the pan-demic. President-elect Biden must also resist the pressure from his left-wing to reimpose any number of regulatory burdens if he wants to reassure employers that now is a good time to invest and expand.

AGC will be making the case that new infrastructure investments will help by putting people to work, boosting demand for equipment and technology and making our economy more efficient and effective.

Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC CEO

As important, the president-elect needs to resist pressure to impose the Pro Act by executive order. The measure would undo much of the framework governing labor relations that has been in place since the middle 20th century. The Pro Act replaces that framework with a series of measures that have the potential to unleash a new era of strikes and employer liability and project disruptions that would almost certainly undermine efforts to rebuild the economy. The voters don’t want it and the economy can’t afford the Pro Act.

Voters sent an unmistakable message that they prefer decency and mainstream ideas over needless drama and radical remakes of our economy and society. But politicians often have short memories and are not immune to imaging mandates that don’t exist. That is why AGC of America will be working to make sure Congress and the Biden administration focus on rebuilding our infrastructure, reassuring employers and reviving our economy.