Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org August 26, 2010
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On the Inside
CONGRESS
Congressional Recess Well Under Way Limited Number of Legislative Days Remain
STIMULUS
CBO Stimulus Report
ELECTIONS
Four More Primaries This Week
CONGRESS
Congressional Recess Well Under Way Limited Number of Legislative Days Remain
 

While the traditional Congressional August recess continues this week, Congress faces a packed legislative calendar when it returns. With Congress having taken nearly 18 months to pass major financial regulation and health care, other important issues, such as annual appropriations, defense authorization and tax policy, remain in the 15 legislative days left before the targeted adjournment for the November election. Movement on any large, controversial bills, including comprehensive energy and climate legislation or immigration reform, is unlikely.

Despite the calendar limitations, rising deficit concerns, and the impending mid-term elections, Democratic Congressional leaders continue to push for new job creation legislation, mortgage lending reform, mine safety, and a number of executive and judicial appointments, in addition to the AGC-opposed DISCLOSE Act (campaign finance law) and the Employee Free Choice Act. The increasing outcry to address and pass food safety legislation could complicate the calendar and many of these priorities.

Absent from the Democratic leaders’ lists are many of AGC’s priorities, including long-overdue infrastructure bills that would fund new transportation and water projects, and build on momentum from the Recovery Act while improving America's global economic competitiveness.

In response to Congressional inaction, AGC members from around the country will come together in Washington, D.C., next month as part of the National and Chapter Leadership Conference. Time has been designated during the conference for Chapter leaders to discuss important issues for the industry among the Association and on Capitol Hill. These issues include reauthorization of the surface transportation program, support for tax policies that promote business investment, development and expansion, and opposition to the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act.”

For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. Return to Top

STIMULUS
CBO Stimulus Report
 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their report on the Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output for the second quarter of 2010.  A copy of the report can be found here.  While it is difficult to say exactly how many jobs were saved or what has been the true real economic impact of stimulus spending, the CBO, through the required reporting of ARRA funding recipients, provides an estimate of the impact of ARRA investments. 

The CBO found that 749,142 full-time jobs were funded by stimulus dollars in the second quarter of 2010. CBO went on to claim that the unemployment rate is between 0.7 percent to 1.8 percent lower than it would be if ARRA was not enacted.  In addition, CBO projects the stimulus to date has increased the number of employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.

CBO also claims that in the second quarter ARRA raised the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent.  The types of spending that proved to be the greatest output multipliers, according to CBO, include areas that invest in our nation’s infrastructure.  The provisions of ARRA cited by CBO include: Highway Construction; Other Transportation; Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF); Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and Federal Buildings Fund.  The relative success of these stimulus programs on employment and output supports AGC’s call to the Administration and Congress to pass plong-delayed legislation (Surface Transportation, FAA, Drinking and Clean Water SRF)  to provide further investment in our nation’s infrastructure. 

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org. Return to Top

ELECTIONS
Four More Primaries This Week
 

On Tuesday, Alaska, Arizona, Florida and Vermont held primary elections. In Alaska, Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller continues to hold a small lead over incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (a reported 16,000 absentee ballots won't to be counted until August 31). Prior to Tuesday, Miller was unknown to many outside of Alaska. If Miller holds the lead, Murkowski will be the third senator denied renomination, and there will be at least 15 new faces in the 112th Senate.

In Arizona, former presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was forced to campaign and spend a significant amount of money to win the Arizona Republican nomination over former Representative J. D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.).

In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist (I) ducked out of the Florida Senate primary with Marco Rubio, and Rubio won the nomination with over one million voters turning out to support him. Crist was a one-term governor and his departure opened the contest between attorney general Bill McCollum and health care mogul Rick Scott. Scott ultimately won, running largely against the recently-passed health care bill.

Looking ahead, September 14 is the next big election day before November, with residents in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin heading to the polls.

For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. Return to Top

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