A coalition consisting of the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA), Stucco Manufacturers Association (SMA), and the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) have announced the addition of two new members in an effort to halt any progress of H.R. 985. The Association of Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI) and the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA) are the latest to add their objections to this piece of legislation, which if passed, would give the concrete masonry industry a federally-sponsored advantage over other industries.
This coalition has been actively opposing H.R. 985 (H.R. 1563 in the last Congress), a bill to enable concrete masonry products manufacturers to establish, finance, and carry out a coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry products.
The bill was introduced at the request of the concrete masonry industry since many firms in this industry do not belong to organizations that contribute to concrete masonry research. This ‘check-off’ bill is to remedy the lack of industry participation by assessing all firms in the concrete masonry industry for this research. In essence, it amounts to the fostering of a government initiated and supported trade group. The report accompanying S. 429, an identical bill considered by the Senate in the last Congress, stated that the cost to the federal government was going to be $4 million per year to oversee the program. This is a federal subsidy.
The coalition will continue to recruit additional organizations whose members will be adversely affected by this bill. Additionally, the coalition will object to any progress the bill makes in Congress.
In addition to the coalition’s objections, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has submitted a letter opposing the bill.