NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald had an important message for President Trump on Tuesday. And Trump had a very positive message for home builders.
MacDonald, who was in Washington, D.C. for the week to attend meetings on Capitol Hill, had just been invited to the White House to attend a ceremony in which Trump would sign an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin rolling back the controversial “waters of the United States” rule.
“I looked right at him and I said, ‘When you talked to our board in August, you promised that you would fix this. On behalf of our 140,000 members, thank you.’ And he said to me, ‘I bet you thought it would be at the end of four years and not right away, right? We’re going to make home building great again.'”
MacDonald is glad he spoke up. “When you only get five or 10 seconds to say something, when you see the opportunity, you’ve got to run at it as straight as you can,” he said.
The ceremony also gave MacDonald an opportunity to talk to Vice President Mike Pence, who as governor of Indiana had productive relationships with members of the Indiana Builders Association. “The vice president is a very common-sense individual, and he is definitely a friend of home building,” MacDonald said.
While the group waited for the president to arrive, MacDonald struck up a conversation with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “It was a good, long visit,” MacDonald said, in which he emphasized builders’ respect for the environment, but also the need for cost-effective, common-sense regulation that does not hurt small businesses or curb economic growth.
These conversations, even brief ones, speak to the value of NAHB membership, MacDonald said. “When the president says he’s going to make home building great again, that’s important.
“We are at the White House within the first 40 days of this administration,” he pointed out. “Whether our members support Trump or not, we are right in the middle of it, where we need to be. You are either at the table or being served on the menu. We are at the table.”