Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org April 28, 2011
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On the Inside
TAX
247 Days Until 3 Percent Withholding Begins Action Needed
ENVIRONMENT
Obama Administration Proposes New Guidance With Expansive Federal Control Over Construction in U.S. Waters
TRANSPORTATION
Surface Transportation Reauthorization Update
FEDERAL
AGC 2011 Federal Contractors Conference Highlights
TAX
247 Days Until 3 Percent Withholding Begins Action Needed
 

AGC continues to urge Congress to repeal the 3 percent withholding mandate on federal, state, and local government contracts. Starting January 1, 2012, public owners will begin withholding 3 percent of every payment to contractors for goods and services, including construction.

Stand-alone legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to repeal this mandate. Grassroots contact from AGC members is very important. To write your legislators and urge them to cosponsor the legislation, click here.

The House bill, H.R. 674, currently yhas 75 cosponsors and two Senate bills, S. 89 and S.164, have 13 cosponsors. To see if your Senators and Representative are or have been a cosponsor of legislation to repeal the 3 percent withholding mandate, click here.

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

ENVIRONMENT
Obama Administration Proposes New Guidance With Expansive Federal Control Over Construction in U.S. Waters
 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday released for public comment new draft guidance to clarify jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act over wetlands and waterways.  The document would replace earlier guidance released in 2008 by the Bush Administration following two Supreme Court decisions that have confused the issue of jurisdiction.  The proposed guidance would more broadly define what waters are subject to regulation based on whether the waters share a “significant nexus” with a “navigable” waterway expressly protected under the Act. 

Stakeholders and policymakers are divided over whether the guidance would have the force and effect of law.  Despite the Administration’s claim that the document is not a rule and thus lacks the force of law, industry, policymakers, and the environmental community, which supports the new guidance, have all called for the Administration to undertake a longer, more deliberative rulemaking process to clarify jurisdiction. 

AGC, along with the Waters Advocacy Coalition, sent a letter to U.S. EPA and the Corps earlier this month to urge the Administration to withdraw the proposed guidance and to initiate a formal rulemaking process.  In addition, nearly 170 Congressional Republicans and Democrats wrote a letter to the agencies to express similar concerns. 

For more information on recent developments on the extent of federal control over construction in U.S. waters, click here.

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

TRANSPORTATION
Surface Transportation Reauthorization Update
 

With Congress returning from a two-week recess, the month of May has the potential to see action on a long-awaited surface transportation bill.  The chairmen of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works have both indicated they would like to have a bill completed by Memorial Day. 

Although the Memorial Day goal may not be achievable, AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference (May 3-5) and the AGC-led Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In (May 24-25) will provide AGC members the opportunity to meet face to face with Members of Congress and their staff and urge them to take quick action on a fully funded multi-year surface transportation bill.

If you are not able to attend either of these events, please read the transportation briefing, which provides a brief background on reauthorization and explains how you can contact your Member of Congress.

For more information, contact Sean O'Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org.
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FEDERAL
AGC 2011 Federal Contractors Conference Highlights
 

The AGC Federal Contractors Conference will be held on May 2-5, 2011. It is the only national event where contractors and Federal agency personnel can meet in a neutral forum and review procurement and contracting issues from around the United States. These insightful and highly productive exchanges have solidified the need for both Federal construction contractors and the Federal construction agencies to share information on a wide variety of issues and foster better communication and real solutions.

Some highlights include meetings with the following Federal agencies:

  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Monday, May 2 at 1:00PM
  • Federal Highway Administration, Monday, May 2 at 1PM
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Tuesday, May 3 at 1PM
  • General Services Administration, Tuesday May 3 at 1PM
  • Army Corps of Engineers, May 5 at 8:00AM

If you are engaged in any aspect of constructing, designing, or planning a Federal project and you are either a general contractor, specialty contractor, service/supplier, attorney or any other important stakeholder already engaged in the Federal market, this conference has a place for you. If you are interested in learning more about Federal contracting opportunities and how to get started, this conference is a great place to begin your learning experience.

AGC members will also have the opportunity to meet with their Member of Congress on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 4. These visits are vital to the success of AGC's advocacy strategy on Capitol Hill. Given the pressing legislation currently being considered in Congress, it is imperative that your elected officials are aware of AGC's position on issues of importance to the construction industry. The AGC Federal Contractors Conference provides an excellent opportunity for legislators to hear directly from their constituents on the importance of infrastructure funding and removing onerous government mandates that stifle economic growth for construction contractors.

For those of you attending, we look forward to welcoming you to this year’s Conference and hope the rest of you will be able to join us next year!  To learn more about the conference, download the brochure, or register, visit our website.

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

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