'Inside the TCMA' featured Article
2022 TCMA In the News - Chairman Comments
TCMA  |  September 2022
Summer is ending, kids are getting back to school, and football talk is in the air. As we are now getting close to ending 3rd quarter 2022, and we find that business is strong, most materials are available through higher priced, and mid-term elections are just around the corner.

The $1.2 trillion H.R.3684 - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed with bipartisan support in late 2021. Now in full swing, this bill provides new funding for infrastructure projects including; roads, bridges, and major projects, passenger and freight rail, highway and pedestrian safety, public transit, broadband, ports and waterways, airports, water infrastructure, power and grid reliability and resiliency (including funding for coastal resiliency, ecosystem restoration, and weatherization), clean school buses and ferries, electric vehicle charging, addressing legacy pollution by cleaning up Brownfield and Superfund sites and reclaiming abandoned mines, and western water infrastructure. With this new boost in funding, it is no shock that foundries producing water works and infrastructure castings are enjoying robust business.  

 The Reshoring Initiative forecasts that 350,000 new U.S. jobs will be created in 2022. There has been a pronounced increase in reshoring activities rising from the effect of domestic businesses filling the gaps in their supply chains for essential products. Most if not all Texas foundries are enjoying robust business and strong backlogs. However, this success is paired with the continuing and growing frustration of attracting and keeping all levels of employees, most noticeably in the skilled trades and general labor/finishing areas. I often hear, ‘business is good, but it would be better if I could figure out how to get more castings out the back door’.  

 If domestic firms and foreign direct investment will combine to create an additional 350,000 jobs in 2022, who is actually going to do the work?  

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act was recently signed into law by President Biden - 6/16/22. The AFS-backed bill boosts the investigatory authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), allowing it to probe ocean common carriers’ business practices, including unreasonable demurrage and other charges which have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. FMC will also receive new enforcement powers. TCMA and AFS members, as well as their suppliers and customers, have faced supply chain disruptions and congestion at U.S. ports, as well as surging shipping rates. Passage of this bill was a priority issue emphasized in AFS letters to Congress and during congressional visits at the Government Affairs Fly-In this year.

 At our last meeting we had talked about OSHA’s plan to increase the number of inspectors nationally and a new focus on heat stress, but what does this actually mean. The goal of this National Emphasis Program (NEP - Directive Number CPL 03-00-024) is to reduce or eliminate worker exposures to heat-related hazards that result in illnesses, injuries, and deaths, by targeting industries and worksites, including worksites with radiant heat sources, where employees are exposed to heat related hazards and have not been provided adequate protection that includes cool water, rest, cool areas, training, and acclimatization. These mitigation strategies are key in controlling the health hazards associated with heat exposures. OSHA’s Compliance Safety and Health Officers are being instructed that they should inquire during inspections regarding the existence of any heat-related hazard prevention programs on heat priority days. A heat priority day occurs when the heat index for the day is expected to be 80°F or more. We know that Texas summers are hot so our focus should continue to be to “provided adequate protection that includes cool water, rest, cool areas, training, and acclimatization”.  

 In the Senate; Thirty-five of the 100 seats in the Senate will be up for election, including all 34 Class 3 seats. A special election is being held to fill a vacancy from another Senate class. As senators serve six-year terms, the last regularly scheduled elections for Class 3 senators were held in 2016. The winners of the United States Senate elections will be sworn in on January 3, 2023, for the 118th Congress. In the House of Representative Elections; All 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election. Fifty-one representatives and one non-voting delegate (32 Democrats, 20 Republicans) have announced that they will be retiring. The incumbents in these races were determined in the 2020 House of Representatives elections and subsequent special elections. As these elections will be the first conducted after the post-2020 census redistricting, several districts lack an incumbent or have multiple incumbents.  

Here at home in Texas:
 The U.S. will hold its midterm elections on Nov. 8. In Texas, voters will elect officials for seven statewide seats — governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner, comptroller and one of three seats on the Railroad Commission. In addition, voters will also elect officials for district-based congressional and legislative offices, the State Board of Education and judicial seats.
U.S. House: All 38 seats; Texas gained two seats in the House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census
State Senate: All 31 seats
State House: All 150 seats
Governor: incumbent Greg Abbott (R), Beto O’Rourke (D)
Attorney General: incumbent Ken Paxton (R), Rochelle Garza (D
Make sure to be heard at the ballot box in November …. Get out and vote!!!Looking forward to seeing you at our September 23rd meeting.  

Brett Morehead