Volume 4 -- Issue 37 -- October 4, 2007
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LABOR
DHS Rule Concerning Social Security Administration “No-match” Letters Remains on Hold
FEDERAL
President to Veto WRDA—AGC Supports Congressional Override
MUNICIPAL & UTILITIES
AGC on Hand to Support Infrastructure Investment at Clean Water Trust Fund Rally
House Prepares to Consider AGC-Supported Small Business Contracting Priorities
CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL
Senate Passes AGC-Supported Bill to Ban Asbestos

  DHS Rule Concerning Social Security Administration “No-match” Letters Remains on Hold

Earlier this year, AGC provided information about the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) final regulation concerning Social Security Administration (SSA) “no-match letters.”  This regulation was to take effect on September 14, but was delayed after the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a stay on implementation of the rule.  

This was in response to a lawsuit filed by the AFL-CIO arguing that the SSA database is full of errors and therefore many citizens and legal immigrants could end up losing their jobs because of the new DHS rule.  Subsequently, another suit was filed by some business groups on the basis that DHS did not conduct a small business impact study.  
 
The judge in the case held a hearing on October 1st to hear the arguments put forth in the lawsuits and delayed a ruling on the case for ten days.   As a result, the implementation of the rule remains on hold until the judge’s decision is made.  

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at knottk@agc.org or (202) 547-4685. [ return to top ]

  President to Veto WRDA—AGC Supports Congressional Override

President Bush is soon expected to veto the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA) once it is officially sent to the White House for his signature. 

In a draft veto message leaked this week, the President calls H.R. 1495 an “unsound bill” that is “far in excess of what the taxpayer can afford.”  The draft message also criticizes Congress for failing to focus on “water infrastructure projects of the greatest merit” instead authorizing projects whose “merit seems and afterthought.” 

H.R. 1495 authorizes $23 billion in civil works projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The biennial legislation has not been enacted since 2000.  AGC strongly supports WRDA and will support efforts to override a presidential veto by Congress. 

For more information, contact Karen Bachman at bachmank@agc.org or (703) 202-4733. [ return to top ]

  AGC on Hand to Support Infrastructure Investment at Clean Water Trust Fund Rally

AGC attended a press conference on Tuesday to support increased federal investment in clean water infrastructure.  Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) was among the speakers to call specifically for the establishment of a “Clean Water Trust Fund” to provide a long-term source of federal funding for clean water infrastructure.

Congressman Blumenauer (left) sits on the tax-writing committee that would consider revenue sources to finance a Clean Water Trust Fund. 

The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year passed a bill (H.R. 720) that would require the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on the feasibility of establishing a trust fund for clean water infrastructure.  The Senate has yet to act on the measure. 

For more information, contact Karen Bachman at bachmank@agc.org or (703) 202-4733. [ return to top ]

  House Prepares to Consider AGC-Supported Small Business Contracting Priorities

The House Committee on Small Business held a legislative hearing Thursday on recommended changes for this year’s reauthorization of the Small Business Act.

Among the issues expected to be addressed in the legislation, which will be introduced later this month, include AGC recommendations for improving the HUBZone program and establishing new rules for sole source contracting.

AGC continues to work with the committee on balancing the needs of the federal government’s procurement system and creating an environment in which construction contractors can continue to work to improve the quality of federal construction delivered to the owner, the federal government and ultimately the American taxpayer.

For more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or giamberm@agc.org.
[ return to top ]

  Senate Passes AGC-Supported Bill to Ban Asbestos

The Senate Thursday passed S. 741, the Ban Asbestos in America Act, to prohibit the importation, manufacturing, processing, and distribution of asbestos-containing material including products having asbestos-containing material. 

The bill also expands research efforts on asbestos-related diseases and establishes a public education campaign to inform Americans about the dangers of asbestos exposure. 

AGC worked with a group of construction stakeholders led by the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association to ensure that definitions and test methodologies included in the bill would not impact the supply of materials and products needed for the industry.  In addition to more accurate mineral definitions, S. 742 includes provisions to improve the science behind methods for distinguishing minerals so that common earth and rocks are not inadvertently misidentified as asbestos. 

AGC will continue to work to improve the bill as it moves to the House for its consideration.

For more information, contact Karen Bachman at bachmank@agc.org or (703) 202-4733. [ return to top ]