Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) today called on Washington lawmakers to put an end to partisan bickering and find common ground to address the building material supply chain crisis and labor shortages that are exacerbating the housing affordability crisis.
In an address to the NAHB Leadership Council in Orlando on the final day of the International Builders' Show, Hogan, who noted that he has been "a proud member of NAHB for many decades," said that he has "never been more fed up with the divisiveness and dysfunction in Washington."
"As the cost of building materials and supplies skyrockets, Washington should be focused on addressing the supply chain crisis, and providing tax relief and helping your efforts to make housing more affordable," he told a room packed with builders from across the nation. "Instead, they are making the problem worse by doubling tariffs on Canadian lumber."
With the labor shortage exacerbating the housing affordability crisis by lengthening building times and raising construction costs, Hogan called on Washington to focus on workforce development and to encourage more workers into the labor force.
"This is why I called on President Biden to increase work-based visas," said Hogan, who noted as a member of the Maryland Building Industry Association he was "proud to chair a program to get builders involved in job training."
"As governor, we have continued to work closely with our home builders to make Maryland a national leader on workforce development, job training, registered apprenticeships, affordable housing and community redevelopment," he added.
As a Republican governor in a deep blue state, Hogan said his political philosophy is to engage in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation.
"In my business career, I didn't make any money unless I found a way to bring people together to close a deal," Hogan said. "I've brought that same approach to politics. I'll work with anyone to get the people's business done. And we have."
"Last year, we got our 70% progressive Democratic legislature to pass the largest tax cut in state history," he added. "We eliminated or rewrote more than 14,000 job-killing regulations, and we've made record investments in infrastructure to relieve some of the worst traffic congestion in America."
Under his stewardship as governor, Maryland's overall economic performance has jumped from 49th out of 50 states to No. 6, the "biggest economic turnaround in America," Hogan said.
And as the nation has faced unprecedented challenges during these past few years, Maryland has stepped up and led. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state was able to keep most of its businesses and economy open throughout the entire crisis.
"Unlike some of our neighboring states, we never shut down construction. Not even for a single day," said Hogan. "We have one of the best vaccination rates in America – without mandates, just as a result of clear and consistent messaging on the importance of it."
Lauding the work of NAHB and America's home builders, Hogan said, "I know firsthand the incredible work that you do to make the American dream. When you face difficult problems, you don't just argue about them. You innovate and work together to solve them and get things done. You are the backbone of our economy, and of our communities."