Will anything change?

Regardless of what may be said about the 2012 elections, one thing seems painfully clear: We will have four more years of essentially the same leadership. With Congress relatively unchanged and the Obama administration still in control of the White House, partisan gridlock will have to be overcome for progress to occur.

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)—a former NRCA president—says: "Because voters decided to stick with the status quo, Congress is going to be faced with the same difficulties it had the past two years. Consensus can be reached, but it is going to take members actively seeking out colleagues from both parties in an effort to find common ground. I think agreement will occur, but it might be a rough road getting there."

Ribble, who was re-elected for a second term in November, is not so optimistic about another Obama presidency.

"Our nation's small businesses need to be able to expand, invest and hire to get our economy moving again, and I hope this administration and the Senate will be more willing to work together for the sake of the millions of small businesses throughout the country. I am unsure whether the administration will take the concerns seriously."

A priority for Ribble this term is to realize viable tax reform legislation.

"Tax reform will be a top priority for me in the 113th Congress," Ribble says. "The tax code is one of the biggest friction points in our economy. More short-term fixes will not help. We need serious, thoughtful reform soon."

Let's hope Ribble will be successful in his aspirations. After all, elections always bring new hope that good things will come when politicians work diligently to reach a common ground.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "In our personal ambitions, we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people."

Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Profes­sional Roofing and NRCA's senior director of communications.


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