Construction Legislative Week in Review January 20, 2011
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On the Inside
Health Care Repeal Passes House, But Law Remains for Now
President Obama Attempts to Buttress Republican Concerns Over Regulatory Agenda
House Moves Toward FY 2011 Funding Cuts
Learn the Results of AGC and Navigantís 2011 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook
Health Care Repeal Passes House, But Law Remains for Now

The House voted 245 to 189 this week to repeal the health care law. The vote marked the first in a series of efforts by House Republicans to honor their pledge during the campaign season to replace last year’s law. The vote was followed today by a resolution formally authorizing four committees to begin work on crafting alternative health plan legislation.  

AGC designated the repeal vote as a “Key Vote” that will be used in an annual scorecard indicating the level of support legislators give to the construction industry.

The outlook in the Senate for any action on repeal legislation is dim, and odds of repeal are further diminished by a Presidential veto. Therefore, Republicans will now focus their efforts on unpeeling the health care law through hearings, funding cuts and targeting specific portions of the law in a piecemeal approach. In the coming weeks, House Republicans will focus on oversight investigations and hearings into the costs of the law, the mandates on employers and the cost to states.

While Democrats and Republicans differ on many portions of the law, there has been some bipartisan support to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement that was included in last year’s health care bill. Beginning in 2012 the provision requires government, nonprofits and businesses of all sizes to file Form 1099s with the IRS when goods or services are purchased without a credit card from another business in excess of $600 in a year. AGC members are encouraged to contact their Representative in support of H.R. 4, a bill that would repeal this 1099 requirement, by using the Legislative Action Center.

For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or Return to Top

President Obama Attempts to Buttress Republican Concerns Over Regulatory Agenda

In an attempt to meet Republican calls for ending a regulatory environment that is stifling job creation and economic growth, President Obama on January 18 signed an executive order requiring all agencies to review federal regulations that are too burdensome.

Under the Executive Order, the president ordered federal agencies to design cost-effective, evidence-based regulations that are compatible with economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness, utilizing the following guiding principles:

  • Cost-effective and Cost-Justified: Consistent with law, Agencies must consider costs and benefits and choose the least burdensome path.
  • Transparent: The regulatory process must be transparent and include public participation, with an opportunity for the public to comment.
  • Coordinated and Simplified: Agencies must attempt to coordinate, simplify, and harmonize regulations to reduce costs and promote certainty for businesses and the public.
  • Flexible: Agencies must consider approaches that maintain freedom of choice and flexibility, including disclosure of relevant information to the public.
  • Science-driven: Regulations must be guided by objective scientific evidence.
  • Necessary and Up-to-Date: Existing regulations must be reviewed to determine that they are still necessary and crafted effectively to solve current problems. If they are outdated, they must be changed or repealed.

It is unclear at this time how the federal agencies will respond to this directive and what regulations would be permitted to be rolled back by the Administration.

In addition to the Executive Order, the president also issued two memos concerning transparency and job creation. The first memo requires the federal agencies to make publicly-available compliance information easily accessible, downloadable, and searchable online.  The second memo calls on the federal agencies to consider ways to reduce regulatory burdens on small business and requires that Agencies provide justifications when such flexibilities are not included in proposed regulation.

AGC will closely monitor how these new directives will be implemented and will continue working with the federal agencies and Congressional leaders to identify regulatory actions that are inhibiting job growth in the construction industry.

The new Executive Order can be found here. The new memorandum on Regulatory Compliance can be found here. The new memorandum on Regulatory Flexibility, Small Business, and Job Creation can be found here.

For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or Return to Top

House Moves Toward FY 2011 Funding Cuts

The House Rules committee on Wednesday marked-up a resolution to “transition” non-security spending for FY 2011 to FY 2008 levels.

Currently, the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution with funding at FY 2010 levels that expires March 4.  The resolution will be voted on by the entire House on January 26 and builds on the authority given to the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to set spending allocations for FY 2011. 

The House Republican plan at this point only involves cutting the aggregate total spending down to FY 2008 levels.  Just how the cuts will be distributed remains to be seen and the full extent of those cuts on individual agencies and programs will not be known until Chairman Ryan gives the Appropriations Committee its FY 2011 spending allocation.

AGC will continue to monitor this process and its impact on federal construction dollars.

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

Learn the Results of AGC and Navigantís 2011 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook

AGC, along with co-sponsor Navigant, will host a conference call for members and Chapter on Monday, January 24 at 2pm ET to release the results of the third annual Construction Hiring and Business Outlook.  AGC’s CEO Stephen Sandherr, Chief Economist Ken Simonson and Navigant’s Managing Director for Construction Michael Feigin will review the survey results and answer your questions.

Each year, AGC surveys its member firms for details on their business and hiring plans for the year. These results help AGC understand the year to come for the construction industry, and tailor its legislative, media and educational programs accordingly.

Nearly 1,300 firms responded to the 2011 survey. To learn more about the results, dial in to the conference call Monday at 2pm ET.

Call in information is as follows:

U.S. Toll Free Dial In: 1-888-299-4099
Verbal Passcode: VT31748 

For more information, contact Brian Turmail at (703) 837-5310 or Return to Top

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