Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.orgJuly 9, 2009
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On the Inside
LABOR
DHS to Implement E-Verify Rule but Revoke No-Match Rule
WATER
Senate Action Imminent on S. 1005 - AGC Urges Members to Contact Senators
HEALTH CARE
Health Care Remains a Top Issue in Congress
HIGHWAY
House and Senate Discussing Future of Transportation Program
FEDERAL
FY 2010 Funding Package for Army Corps, Bureau of Reclamation Moves in House and Senate
 
LABOR
DHS to Implement E-Verify Rule but Revoke No-Match Rule
 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 8 announced the Administration’s intent to “push ahead with full implementation” of a rule requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify system to verify employees’ authorization to work in the U.S.  The E-Verify rule will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards government-wide beginning September 8.  At the same time, DHS announced its intent to issue a new regulation rescinding a rule establishing procedures for employers to follow upon receipt of a “no-match letter” from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS.

For background information on E-Verify and No-Match, click here.

AGC will monitor all related litigation and legislation and will report on significant developments.

Meanwhile, further guidance on immigration compliance is available in an MP3 download of a live educational session held at AGC’s Annual HR Professionals Conference in June 2008.  An immigration law update will also be provided at AGC’s next HR Professionals Conference, which will take place October 27-29, in Atlanta, GA.  Click here for conference details and registration.  For additional resources and for information on immigration reform efforts, click here.

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at (703) 837-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

WATER
Senate Action Imminent on S. 1005 - AGC Urges Members to Contact Senators
 

On March 12, 2009, The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR. 1262, the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009. This bill authorizes $19.4 billion over five years for wastewater infrastructure projects, including $13.8 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and $2.5 billion for the sewer overflow control grants program.  On May 14, 2009, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed companion legislation S.1005, the Water Infrastructure Financing Act of 2009. The Senate bill authorizes $38.9 billion for EPA water infrastructure programs over the next five years, and includes $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.

New policy in both bills includes language applying Brooks Act qualifications based selection (QBS) for preconstruction design and engineering services with an exemption in S. 1005 for communities of 10,000 persons or less. Both bills also include Davis- Bacon prevailing wage requirements. Key differences between the bills, beyond funding levels, include changes to the current state allocation formula for the Clean Water SRF in the S. 1005. Largely due to AGC and WIN Coalition lobbying efforts, the bill does not include Buy American provisions included in the House version, which are identical to the requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that have slowed down the delivery of these important projects.

Senate EPW staff has indicated that the Senate may bring its bill for a full vote before the August recess.  It is crucial that AGC members write their Senators and urge them to support this bill. Click here to visit the AGC Legislative Action Center and write your Senator.

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

HEALTH CARE
Health Care Remains a Top Issue in Congress
 

After months of discussions and drafting legislation, committees are beginning to narrow the focus of the legislation in both the House and Senate. Leaders in both chambers remain committed to the accelerated timeline of passing bills prior to the August recess and having the president sign the legislation in October. 

The major hurdles for reform remain the financing of the expansion of coverage.  Working towards a bipartisan proposal will likely slow the speed of the legislation. In the Senate, leaders are moving away from a plan to tax health benefits of employees. In the House, a tax surcharge on the income of highly compensated individuals is gaining momentum. The surtax would affect individuals with incomes higher than $200,000 and couples over $250,000.  Also, a proposal to tax or penalize employers that do not offer health benefits is incorporated in both the House and Senate versions of the bill. While nothing has been decided, Congress is presented with an enormous task of finding revenue to pay for the over $1 trillion plan being discussed.

Congress will continue to finalize the legislation as committees of jurisdiction in the U.S. House craft their version of legislation and Senate committees finalize their plan. The Senate must still mesh two competing committees’ legislation into one before the Senate can vote on it.

For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-2133 or youngj@agc.org. Return to Top

HIGHWAY
House and Senate Discussing Future of Transportation Program
 

Discussions continued between the House and Senate this week on the best way to fix the $8 billion shortfall in transportation funding for fiscal 2009, fix the $10 billion shortfall in fiscal 2010 funding and extend the SAFETEA-LU programs beyond their September 30, 2009 expiration date.

The House announced plans to markup a bill to fix the 2009 shortfall this month, while the Senate plans to move their bill the week of July 20 that will address both the 2009 and 2010 shortfalls and SAFETEA-LU extension.  Both bodies are determined to pass their bills in July. The House Transportation Committee has postponed plans to move the six-year authorization this month, but will hold a hearing. AGC continues to review the subcommittee-passed version of the six-year bill and will be working with both congressional and industry allies to improve the multi-year package.

For more information, contact Jeff Shoaf at (703) 837-3350 or shoafj@agc.org. Return to Top

FEDERAL
FY 2010 Funding Package for Army Corps, Bureau of Reclamation Moves in House and Senate
 

House and Senate leaders are moving on legislation to fund the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Energy for FY 2010.

The House Appropriations Committee reported a $33.3 billion bill on July 9. The total amount approved for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program is $5.54 billion for FY 2010. This represents a modest increase of $139 million over the FY 2009 and an increase of $416 million over the Obama administration's request of $5.1 billion. The Bureau of Reclamation would receive $1.08 billion in funding for FY 2010, representing a $38 million decrease from FY 2009, but a $17 million increase above the administration request.

On July 8, the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee moved forward a $34.27 billion package that is $643 million below President Obama’s budget request and nearly $476 million above the FY 2009 omnibus enacted level. The Senate’s bill would provide $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, slightly less that the House figure. The Bureau of Reclamation would receive $1.13 billion, slightly more than the House bill.

AGC will continue to advocate for increased investment in the water resources development missions of the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation as this legislation continues through the Congress.

To review the House FY 2010 Appropriations table click here.
To review the list of the House FY 2010 projects click here.
To read the House Bill Summary click here.
To read the Senate Bill Summary click here.

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

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