Taxpayer subsidies to congressional campaigns would dangerously extend the government’s role in a traditionally voluntary political process based on individual choice. Candidates would rely less on private funding, reducing the role of constituents. ASA opposes federal funding of congressional campaigns. Instead, ASA supports continuation of reasonable contribution and spending limits while maintaining the voluntary political process; use of reasonable tax deductions and credits to encourage voluntary private financing of campaigns; and federal financing only of presidential campaign through the $1 tax check-off on income tax forms.
Corporations, trade associations and unions may form political action committees, enabling employers, shareholders and members to participate in federal elections through voluntary contributions. ASA opposes efforts to lower PAC contribution limits and requiring the reporting of operating costs for business PACs. ASA supports simplification of the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for PACs to minimize the volume and detail of reports.
ASA opposes using a government shutdown as a strategy in negotiations on any issue pending before the U.S. Congress. Examples of how a government shutdown will negatively impact the construction industry:
- New federal construction projects will be delayed as the employees responsible for managing the solicitation and bidding of such projects are furloughed.
- Federal construction projects already in progress may be delayed as access to jobsites is restricted and contracting officers are not available to respond to requests for information or to approve change orders.
- Other projects will be delayed as the Environmental Protection Agency will not be able to perform environmental impact assessments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be unable to issue Section 404 permits for construction activities involving dredging and fill material discharge near water, etc.
- Small construction firms that use the Small Business Administration to obtain surety bonding, loans and other assistance will have no access to these programs.
- Home builders who will rely on the customers’ ability to obtain guarantees of home loans from the Federal Housing Administration will be stymied.