AGC Looks at Climate Bill H.R. 2454: Introduction
Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, the U.S. Senate will resume its work
on a comprehensive energy and climate bill. In part,
those deliberations will focus on a companion bill, the America Clean
Energy and Security Act, or H.R. 2454, which the U.S.
House of Representatives passed on June 26, 2009, by a vote of 219 to 212.
This article begins a series of articles that
AGC will publish in AGC’s Environmental Observer to
keep members informed of the ongoing climate change debate in
Congress. These articles will summarize H.R.
2454 in plain English and include AGC's preliminary reactions.
leaders in the Senate are aiming to vote on their version of the climate change
bill as early as October. After the differences between the two bills are
reconciled, the resulting language will need to secure passing votes in both
houses of Congress before a final bill can go to President Obama.
Congress debates climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
is also laying the foundation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean
Air Act though both industry groups and several government agencies
(including EPA) have expressed concern that regulation under the existing
statute is not the best course of action.
information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or Melinda Tomaino at (703) 837-5415 or email@example.com.
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President Signs Highway Trust Fund Fix
House and Senate passage of legislation transferring $7 billion of general fund
revenue to the Highway Trust Fund, President Obama signed the bill into law
(Public Law: 111-046) on August 7, 2009. The $7 billion dollar transfer
allows state transportation departments to receive full reimbursements for
federal-aid highway projects through the end of fiscal year 2009 (September
Congress returns in September, they must take action to reauthorize federal
highway and transit programs past the September 30 expiration date of
SAFETEA-LU. Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), the Chairman of the House
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is committed to bringing a
six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill to the House floor for a
vote prior to the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, while the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee leaders – with the exception of Senator George Voinovich
(R-Ohio) – support an 18-month extension of the current authorization.
more information, contact Sean O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Registration Goes Live for Recovery Act Reporting Website
Section 1512 of the Recovery Act requires information
about the project and the jobs it creates, and salary disclosure for certain federal
contractors to be reported to the central federal Web site, www.federalreporting.gov.
At 12:01 A.M. on August 17, 2009, that website is
scheduled to go live and recipients of Recovery funds will be able to register
as the first step in the reporting process mandated by the Recovery Act. To
register, recipients must already have a DUNS number and CCR number.
Registration will continue through September 30, 2009, with reporting
officially beginning on October 1, 2009 through October 10, 2009. For more
information on the reporting requirements contained in the Recovery Act, click here
(for federal contractors), here (for federally-assisted work), and here
(for more information about the reporting process). For OMB’s guidance and
forms associated with reporting, see recipient
For more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at
(703) 837-5325 or email@example.com.
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AGC Prepares Regulatory Comments on Administration Plan to Implement Project Labor Agreements
July 14, 2009, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued a notice of proposed
rulemaking implementing President Obama's Executive Order 13502, which
creates new FAR contract clauses to be included in Federal contracts should an
agency choose to require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on a particular
Federal construction project. Comments are due on August 13, 2009.
short, the proposed rule (FAR Case 2009-005) would:
- Provide a
new FAR Subpart 22.5, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal
- Add a new
provision at 52.222-XX, Notice of Requirement for Project Labor Agreement,
to be included in solicitations where the agency has exercised its
discretion to require a project labor agreement as prescribed at FAR
- Add a new
clause 52.222-YY, Project Labor Agreement, to be included in contracts in
accordance with FAR 22.505(b).
proposed rule seems to implement the executive order carefully, without
expansion, by encouraging (not requiring) agencies to consider (not necessarily
adopt) a PLA requirement on large-scale construction projects (defined as
projects with a total cost to the federal government of $25 million or more) on
a project-by-project basis where certain criteria are met. It expressly leaves
to the contracting agency discretion to decide whether or not to require a PLA.
is encouraging agencies to exercise this discretion prudently, leaving the
decision of whether to perform the work under a collective bargaining agreement
up to the contractor-employers and their employees, as provided under federal
labor law. AGC believes that it is inappropriate for public agencies to use
their contracting authority to interfere with labor relations among private
employers and employees, and explained that position to White House and other
officials at a recent meeting
proposed rule includes standards for all PLAs issued under the rule. These
include that the PLA must "allow all contractors and subcontractors to
compete for contracts and subcontracts without regard to whether they are
otherwise parties to collective bargaining agreements." AGC intends to
point out in its comments how this ostensibly fair principle is unrealistic,
considering the very burdensome changes that a public PLA typically imposes on
open shop contractors operations.
more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AGC Remains Involved in Immigration Reform Discussions
week, President Obama visited Mexico and stated that he did not expect
comprehensive immigration reform to be done this year and that he expected the
issue to be taken up in 2010. However, Members of Congress
remain interested in the subject with some hoping to at least get legislation
introduced in October so that negotiations can begin this year.
addition, some lawmakers are giving more thought to working on smaller
immigration bills. AGC remains active in conversations in both the House
and the Senate with regard to items of concern for the construction industry,
including employer enforcement, employment verification, changes to visa
programs and the development of any future flow program.
supported comprehensive immigration reform during the 110th
Congress. Though the economic climate is a difficult one right now for
Congress to discuss this issue, AGC will remain involved and track developments
more information, contact Kelly Knott at (703) 837-4685 or email@example.com.
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Health Care Debate Follows Congress Home
Congress leaving Washington, D.C., until September, the debate and furor over
health care reform legislation has followed them home. Members of Congress on
both sides of the aisle continue to hear from constituentS in support and
opposition to the current health care reform legislation.
the vocal opposition at recent town hall meetings has centered around end-of-life
care and the creation of a public option, AGC remains concerned with provisions
in the current House proposal relating to financing and employer mandates.
Although the three House committees of jurisdiction passed their respective
portions of the bill, it could still change before the bill is debated on the
Finance Committee members continue to actively look toward finding a bipartisan
solution. The Committee is expected to release some legislation in September.
Although it appears that President Obama's goal of signing a bill by October
may pass, Democratic leaders remain committed to passing an overhaul bill this
year with or without bipartisan support.
continues to encourage members to use the Legislative
Action Center to voice their opposition to the America’s Affordable Health
more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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