Senate Finishes Work Before Full August Recess
Today the Senate finished work on a $26 billion package that contains state
aid, extension of Medicaid funding and funds to avert teacher layoffs, and confirmed
Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. The passage of the
state aid package will require the House to return to the Capitol next week to
pass the Senate version before they can resume their August recess. The
administration has no plan at the moment to push for additional construction
While Congress was able to finish work on these issues, many
of the issues specific to AGC and the construction industry must wait until
September or later. SAFETEA-LU
authorization expired on September 30, 2009, and the highway program is operating
under short term extensions, the latest of which expires at the end of the year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-Nev.) announced this week he may attempt to pass an energy bill as early as
September. The Senate bill includes oil-spill and other energy provisions, but
could be expanded to include provisions on promoting renewable energy sources
and possibly caps on greenhouse gases, although it is unlikely.
Congress also failed to move legislation meant to help small
businesses. The bill was bogged down by how big the tax provisions should have
been, but is expected to see action in the Senate when Congress returns in
September. The bill is expected to include funds for community banks to make
loans to small businesses and tax cuts, including quicker write-offs for
For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AGC Launches New Push for Transportation Reauthorization
AGC and coalition partners in the Transportation
Construction Coalition and Americans for Transportation Mobility began a new
campaign to urge Congress to act on highway and transportation reauthorization.
On September 30, 2009 SAFETEA-LU, the current surface transportation
authorization legislation, expired. This provides Congress and the
administration the opportunity to chart a new course for the nation by
providing a surface transportation system that will propel the U.S. forward.
AGC is urging its members and Chapters to make contact with
legislators over the August recess, and use the tools provided on the transportation
reauthorization web page. Tools include template letters to your
Senators or Representative, talking points and meeting request letters.
Additional resources include sample letters to the editor and op/eds, as well
as template advertisements
and a brief video
(above), to explain to the general public the importance of investing in
In collaboration with local Chapters, AGC will hold media
events in selected cities to draw more attention to this important issue.
For more information, contact Jim Young at (202)
547-0133 or email@example.com.
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Primary Spotlight on Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee
Primary races started to pick up again this week after a slow July.
Kansas, Michigan and Missouri kicked off August primary races on Tuesday, and
in Kansas a hotly contested Senate race (Brownback open seat) ended with Rep.
Jerry Moran (R) winning the Republican nomination over Rep. Todd Tihart (R)
with 50 percent of the vote. With Moran and Tihart vying for the
Republican nomination in the Senate, and Rep. Dennis Moore (D) announcing his
retirement, nearly all the state’s congressional seats were up for grabs.
In the first district, State Sen. Tim Huelskamp cleared a crowded primary field
to win the Republican nomination to succeed Moran, and Moore’s wife, Stephene, won
the Democratic nomination and will face State Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) in
November. Finishing off the Kansas primary results, businessman Mike
Pompeo (R) will face State Rep. Raj Goyle (D) in this Republican-leaning district.
The state of Michigan has presented many opportunities for
new faces in Congress after three Representatives announced their retirements
and one Democratic incumbent lost her primary. In early April Rep. Bart Stupak
(D) announced his retirement, leaving the seat open this November. State
Rep. Gary McDowell (D) will face either Dr. Dan Benishek (R) or State Sen.
Jason Allen, who are just .1% point apart. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) left
the second district in Michigan. Fred Johnson will face former
State Rep. Bill Huizenga (R) in November. Rep. Vern Ehlers (R) announced
his retirement as Representative for the third district in early 2010 and will
be succeeded by either State Rep. Justin Amash (R) or attorney Pat Miles, who
is running as the Democrat on the ticket. Incumbent Rep. Carolyn Cheeks
Kirkpatrick lost her party’s bid for nomination and was defeated by State Sen.
Hansen Clarke, who will face John Hauler (R) in November. Cheeks Kilpatrick
became the fourth House incumbent to lose a party primary this cycle.
Early in 2010, Sen. Kit Bond (R) of Missouri announced his
retirement after serving four terms in the Senate, leaving one of the
bellwether state’s Senate seats open. Rep. Roy Blunt, who currently
serves as the Congressman for the seventh district of Missouri, came out on top
of an eleven person primary. Blunt received 71 percent of the vote and
will face Missouri’s Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D). Both Carnahan
and Blunt have strong recognition in the state and this seat is considered to
be a tossup. Carnahan’s brother, Russ, currently serves as the
Representative for Missouri’s third district, and may be facing a tough race of
his own after AGC PAC-backed candidate Ed Martin won the Republican nod for the
ticket in November. After Blunt announced his plan to run for Senate, the
primary in the seventh district for both parties quickly turned into a crowded
contest. In the end, Attorney Scott Eckersley (D) and Auctioneer Billy
Long (R) will challenge one another for the seat in November.
Tennessee is in the process of holding its primary today,
and AGC will keep a close look on a few of the seats, including open seats TN-3
(Zach Wamp – R), TN-6 (Bart Gordon – D) and TN-8 (John Tanner – D.)
For more information, contact Blair
Hood at (202) 547.5013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NIH to Shut Down its Contractor Reporting System
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Contractor Performance System
(CPS) has supported civilian agencies in submission of their contractor
performance reports since December 1996. Despite continual updating of the CPS,
the passage of time has put the system in need of an architectural overhaul.
This need, in combination with recent government-wide efforts to consolidate
systems has resulted in several civilian agencies transitioning to the more
modern Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) that is
managed by the Department of Defense (DOD).
In light of these facts and discussions with the Department
of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Federal Procurement Policy
(OFPP) and DOD CPARS, NIH reached a decision to not revamp the CPS and to
officially end service to all customers on September 30, 2010.
While users can continue to add new evaluations to CPS until July 9, 2010, all
CPS past performance evaluations must be completed by September 30.
While the government is encouraging all subscribing agencies
to transition to the Department of Defense’s CPARS and to work out a schedule
with the DOD for completing the changeover, AGC is working with its federal
agency partners to share information about the transition and how they might
change their past performance best practices to meet the needs of CPARS.
For questions on technical assistance matters or transition issues
specific to the CPS, please feel free to contact the NIH CPS Team at (301) 451-2771 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703)
837-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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