Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.orgMay 7, 2009
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On the Inside
Budget
Obama Administration Releases Details on FY 2010 Budget Request; Slight Reduction in Federal Construction Spending
Economic Stimulus
AGC Prepares to Solicit and Submit Member Comments on Recovery Rules
Infrastructure
Senate Introduces $38.9 Billion Water Reauthorization Bill
Immigration
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Issues New Agency Field Guidance on Worksite Enforcement
Card Check
AGC Continues to Raise Concerns About the Employee Free Choice Act
 
Budget
Obama Administration Releases Details on FY 2010 Budget Request; Slight Reduction in Federal Construction Spending
 

The Obama Administration today released additional details regarding its fiscal year 2010 budget request to Congress.  The Administration released a blueprint of its budget in February.  For federal construction spending programs, the Administration proposes a total of $118.7 billion, a $724 million or 0.6 percent decrease below the $119.4 billion appropriated for FY 2009.

While the budget recommends a mix of increases and reductions in programs across market areas, it does, however, increase in funding for water and wastewater infrastructure construction.  Specifically, the budget recommends $2.4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) program and $1.5 billion for the Safe Drinking Water SRF program, together representing a 160 percent increase over FY 2009 funding levels. 

On a related note, Congress on April 29 approved its $3.5 trillion budget resolution for FY 2010.  No Republicans voted for the measure in either chamber.  The budget resolution, which provides a non-binding framework for future tax and spending legislation in Congress, assumes $764 billion in tax cuts over five years, and aims to cut the deficit in half by FY 2012 and by two-thirds by FY 2014.  The agreement sets discretionary funding at $1.1 trillion for FY 2010, $10 billion less than the amount President Obama recommended in his budget, and sets non-defense discretionary spending at $529.8 billion for FY 2010.

For a chart comparing the Administration’s FY 2010 budget request, click here.

For more information, please contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

Economic Stimulus
AGC Prepares to Solicit and Submit Member Comments on Recovery Rules
 

On March 31, 2009, the FAR Councils issued a series of interim rules amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in order to implement several key provisions set forth in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

On a finding of "urgent and compelling reasons," the interim rules were issued without any opportunity for prior public comment.  The FAR Councils will, however, take into consideration public comments submitted on or before June 1, 2009 in formulation of the final rule.

In order to facilitate a dialogue between AGC members and the government, AGC has set up a special portal located at the AGC Legislative Action Center and highlighted the key issues that must be addressed:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also issued its own guidance on April 23 establishing Government-wide guidance and standard award terms for agencies to include in financial assistance awards (namely, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans) as part of their implementation of the Recovery Act. Public comments are due by June 22:

AGC has been working to solicit comments from members and is preparing to submit comments on behalf of the entire association by the June 1 deadline.

For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or giamberm@agc.org. Return to Top

Infrastructure
Senate Introduces $38.9 Billion Water Reauthorization Bill
 

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK), Senate Water & Wildlife Subcommittee Chairman Ben Cardin (D- MD) and Ranking Member Senator Mike Crapo (R-IL) are expected shorty to introduce the Water Infrastructure Financing Act of 2009. This bi-partisan bill will authorize $38.9 billion for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs over the next five years.

Highlights of the Senate bill include $20 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, $15 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program and $1.85 billion for Sewer Overflow Grants. AGC and the WIN Coalition worked closely with Senate staff on this companion legislation to H.R. 1262, the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009, which passed out of the House of Representatives on March 12 authorizing a total of $19.4 billion over five years for wastewater infrastructure projects. 

In addition to revising the SRF distribution formula for States, The Water Infrastructure Financing Act of 2009 creates a new Agricultural Pollution Control SRF, includes technical assistance grants for small systems and $250 million for Critical Water Infrastructure Projects (Watershed Improvements).

AGC is particularly pleased that the bill does not include any Buy American Provisions similar to those included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While the bill will not include any Davis Bacon provisions it is likely that amendments for and against the inclusion of Davis Bacon will be introduced in the full committee markup which will occur on Thursday May 14.

For additional information please contact Perry L. Fowler at (703) 837-5321 or fowlerp@agc.org. Return to Top

Immigration
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Issues New Agency Field Guidance on Worksite Enforcement
 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency issued new guidelines to field offices to specifically instruct agents to step up worksite enforcement on employers. The guidance seeks to refocus agents on employer enforcement because ICE believes that efforts focused on employers is the best way to fight what many consider to be one of the leading causes of illegal immigration. 

The guidance urges agents to “prioritize the criminal prosecution of actual employers who knowingly hire illegal workers” and to use administrative tools such as I-9 audits, civil fines and debarment proceedings to further these efforts.  This effort specifically seeks to reprioritize ICE’s efforts to emphasize criminal prosecutions. 

For more information contact Kelly Knott at (202) 547-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

Card Check
AGC Continues to Raise Concerns About the Employee Free Choice Act
 

This week, AGC Chief Executive Officer Steve Sandherr wrote an OpEd for The Washington Examiner on the impact of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) on union construction workers. The story illustrates AGC’s concerns on the negative effect passage of EFCA could  have on union workers in our industry.

AGC continues to educate Members of Congress about the negative impact of EFCA on the construction industry for both union and open shop contractors. Click here to view the OpEd.

For more information contact Kelly Knott at (202) 547-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

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