Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org November 18, 2010
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On the Inside
SURVEY
AGC Requests Your Input in Establishing Legislative Priorities
CONGRESS
Leadership Changes Dominate Lame-Duck Session
Congressional Republicans Institute Earmark Ban for 112th Congress
LABOR
AGC-Opposed Paycheck Legislation Stalls in the Senate
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Continues Push for Gas Tax Increase in Deficit Reduction Proposal
SURVEY
AGC Requests Your Input in Establishing Legislative Priorities
 

AGC is currently conducting a Legislative Priority Survey to solicit information from AGC members to better determine the most important legislative issues to the construction industry.

The results of the survey will be used by the AGC’s Legislative Action Committee to prioritize the direction of legislative involvement during the 112th Congress (2010-2011).

The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and can be accessed by clicking here.  The survey results are valuable because they outline the issues the construction industry views as the most important, as well as where AGC should direct the appropriate resources to address these legislative issues.

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

CONGRESS
Leadership Changes Dominate Lame-Duck Session
 

Meetings for party leadership elections and respective Democratic and Republican caucuses in the House and Senate dominated behind-the-scenes during the first week of the lame duck session. Many of the same faces will serve in the leadership in the next Congress, but some will be in different roles.

John Boehner (R-Ohio) easily won his party’s nomination to be the Speaker of the House in the 112th Congress. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the outgoing Speaker, overcame challenges within her own party to win a “secret ballot” vote 150-43 over Health Shuler (R-N.C.), a moderate, rank and file member. Many of the votes against Pelosi were from the caucus’ most moderate members.

In the Senate, each party’s top leadership remains unchanged.

While the leadership elections lacked drama, many congressional committees will see dramatic changes when their respective steering committees meet to decide the leaders. For AGC’s outlook on potential changes, click here.

House Republicans elected the following leaders for the 112th Congress:

  • Speaker: John Boehner (R-Ohio)
  • Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
  • Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
  • Conference Chairman: Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
  • National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman: Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
  • Study Committee Chairman: Tom Price (R-Ga.)
  • Conference Vice Chairwoman: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)
  • Conference Secretary: John Carter (R-Texas)
  • Freshman Representatives: Kristi Noem (S.D) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

In addition, House Democrats voted on its leadership for the 112th Congress:

  • House Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
  • Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
  • Assistant Leader: Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)
  • Caucus Chairman: John Larson (D-Conn.)
  • Caucus Vice Chairman: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman: will be appointed by the Minority Leader.

The Senate Democratic Leadership for the 112th Congress is as follows:

  • Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
  • President Pro Tempore: Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
  • Vice Chair of the Conference and Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee: Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)
  • Secretary of the Conference: Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
  • Vice Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee: Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
  • Chair of Steering and Outreach Committee: Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

The Senate Republican Leadership for the 112th Congress is as follows:

  • Republican Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  • Republican Whip: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
  • Republican Conference Chair: Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
  • Republican Conference Vice Chair:  John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Republican Policy Committee Chairman: John Thune (R-S.D.)
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman: John Cornyn (R-Texas)

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

Congressional Republicans Institute Earmark Ban for 112th Congress
 

Senate and House Republicans took two different approaches this week on banning earmarks. While Senate Republicans passed a nonbinding resolution to not request earmarks, House Republicans approved a rule change that would ban the insertion of earmarks in legislation for the 112th Congress. Under the new rules passed by House leaders, Democrats must also adhere to the ban.

There is a great amount of uncertainty regarding what this will ultimately mean for important appropriations and authorization bills, such as the Highway Reauthorization or Water Resources Development Act as these bills heavily rely on specific project authorizations to determine critical needs and funding levels. Also unclear is the extent of the ban. While Democrats must comply with the House ban, Senate Democrats are still in control and have not agreed to the ban supported by Senate Republicans. In addition, it is not clear whether the House would refuse to approve legislation passed by the Senate containing earmarks.

AGC is closely monitoring this issue and will keep members apprised of developments.

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

LABOR
AGC-Opposed Paycheck Legislation Stalls in the Senate
 

Yesterday, the Senate failed to get cloture on a bill (S. 3772) that would have given greater government control over how employees are paid at even the smallest of companies. 

AGC opposed the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act because it would greatly expand the Equal Pay Act by limiting the ability of employers to make pay decisions based on experience, local market rates, education or other business factors.  It would also threaten incentive programs, promote class action law suits, and create unlimited compensatory and punitive damages in Equal Pay Act cases.  This bill would apply to all employers with two or more employees.

The vote was 58-41 and 60 votes are needed to invoke cloture on the bill.   It is unlikely that this legislation will see further action this year.

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

TRANSPORTATION
AGC Continues Push for Gas Tax Increase in Deficit Reduction Proposal
 

As members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform work to finalize their report before the December 1 deadline, AGC and other transportation stakeholders continue to meet with those members to ensure any final package includes the 15 cent per gallon gas tax increase that was recommended in the co-chairmen’s draft proposal

Although the prospects for the final report garnering the support from 14 of the 18 commission members necessary to trigger Congressional action are slim, it is important for the members to hear from stakeholders on the importance of a gas tax increase on both our transportation infrastructure and our country’s fiscal health.

Visit AGC’s Legislative Action Center to write a letter to the Commission in support of a gas tax increase.

AGC and coalition partners released a statement in support of the Commission’s proposal to raise the gas tax. The news was covered by the Orange County Register and the Everett Washington Herald.

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

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