FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As inflation soared to a 40-year high, U.S. Senator John Boozman is continuing his series of conversations with Arkansas business leaders to learn how the current economic climate is impacting industries in the state.

Boozman met with home builders in the Fort Smith area and discussed their struggles due to the rising inflation as well as supply chain disruptions and the shortage of skilled labor.

“Arkansans are paying higher prices across the board as a result of President Biden’s reckless tax-and-spending plan. Instead of doubling down on failed policies that have increased the burdens on hardworking families and American businesses, I urge the president to abandon his agenda and prioritize solutions that deliver relief from runaway inflation, fix supply chains and encourage workforce growth and development,” Boozman said.

The National Association of Home Builders attributed higher construction costs as a leading factor in the continued decline in builder confidence, the press release said. This is due, in part, to supply chain challenges. Stephanie Stipins, Executive Director of Arkansas Home Builders Association and Greater Fort Smith Area Home Builders Association said in Fort Smith, builders are being told to expect delays “of up to 15 weeks for windows, even from local suppliers.”

“We appreciate Senator Boozman taking time to understand the impact of labor and supply shortages on our industry. These national issues aren’t just impacting builders, they are impacting millions of Americans who are delaying and dropping out of the housing market. Homeownership should not be a unique privilege, but the cost of materials, delays in supplies and the rising cost of housing will continue to keep people out of homeownership if we don’t get control of them,” she said.

Boozman recently championed a Senate-passed solution to easing supply chain disruptions. The “Ocean Shipping Reform Act” would modernize federal regulations for the global shipping industry to protect American exporters from “unfair penalties and practices in the industry.” The Senate unanimously passed this legislation in March.