November 7, 2011
Statement of President of Building and Construction Trades Department Mark H. Ayerson the defeat of infrastructure legislation in the U.S. Senate:
As the national unemployment rate for the American construction industry increased to 13.9% in October, it is unacceptable that a minority of the United States Senate has blocked the consideration of the Rebuild America Jobs legislation.
This disappointing vote reinforces the frustration that our members have with those 49 Senators who refused to allow an important, and much-needed debate on infrastructure legislation that would have put thousands and thousands of American workers back on the job. The unified opposition of Republican Senators, joined by Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, demonstrates that there are far too many Senators who fail to understand that our national infrastructure system is not working, and that far too many Americans are not working. America’s Building Trades Unions, like the vast majority of Americans today, are right to expect better from their elected officials.
If we are not going to insist upon the most affluent Americans among us to help finance infrastructure investments and move our economy forward, then we must challenge the U.S. Senate to build a bipartisan consensus to end the political gridlock and our infrastructure gridlock. Our members will rightfully hold their elected officials accountable for failure to enact significant infrastructure legislation.