Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org January 12, 2012
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On the Inside
TRANSPORTATION
Transportation is Job #1 Campaign
AGC EVENTS
Registration is Now Open for 2012 AGC Federal Contractors Conference
AGC Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee Hears from FASB Chair
LABOR
OFCCP Proposes Changes to Affirmative Action Obligations Related to Individuals with Disabilities
2012 ELECTION
Romney Takes New Hampshire & Iowa; Will Republicans Finally Rally Behind Him?
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TRANSPORTATION
Transportation is Job #1 Campaign
 

With only 80 days remaining until the expiration of the latest highway and transit authorization extension, AGC is kicking-off a comprehensive grassroots and communications campaign asking Congress to take action on a reauthorization bill before March 31, 2012.

The campaign, called Make Transportation JOB #1, will continue to build momentum for passage of a reauthorization billThe time to engage your member of Congress is now.  Both the House and Senate are in positions to move their respective bills but they need to be encouraged to ACT NOW.  

The Senate Environment and Public Works and Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees have passed their portions of the Senate reauthorization bill, while the Banking and Finance Committees have yet to take action.  Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that passing a reauthorization bill will be a top priority for the Senate when they return from their winter break.  The same can be said in the House where Speaker John Boehner, has pledged to take action the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a bill that will link transportation authorization with expanded energy production.  The Speaker’s commitment coupled with a positive status update provided to AGC Highway Chapters this week by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee staff are encouraging signs that a bill could be voted on in the House of Representatives prior to March 31, 2012.

AGC and our members have worked hard to get the reauthorization bill to this point and we need one final push to ensure members of Congress hear from their constituents of the need to Make Transportation JOB #1 and pass a highway and transit reauthorization bill.  Over the next several weeks AGC Chapters, members and business colleagues will be asked to:

  1. Send letters to your Representatives and Senators;
  2. Sign a petition expressing your support for passing a highway and transit bill;
  3. Use a complete grassroots toolkit – available on the AGC website – with sample letters to the editor and guidance about arranging effective meetings with your Representatives and Senators.

The Make Transportation JOB #1 campaign will officially kick-off next week.  But don’t wait until then to take action.  You can sign the petition, send letters to your legislators and find additional resources at www.agc.org/roads.    In addition to the AGC effort, our transportation stakeholder coalition, Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) is also engaged in the Make Transportation JOB #1 campaign.  ATM is circulating a multi-industry letter to leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking for quick action in moving a transportation reauthorization bill.  AGC encourages our chapters and members to sign on this letter.

Getting a highway and transit authorization bill passed in Congress and signed into law prior to March 31, 2012 will not be an easy task.   It is vital that AGC members engage business associates (suppliers, subcontractors, insurance, bonding, financial services, etc.), labor organizations and other non-construction businesses in this effort.  We need a true team effort to get this done.

Passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress is not unheard of.  Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) wrote yesterday  about the recent passage of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 as an example of how Congress can pass job creation legislation amid gridlock and partisan rancor.

For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org; or Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC EVENTS
Registration is Now Open for 2012 AGC Federal Contractors Conference
April 16-19, 2012 | The Mayflower Hotel | Washington, DC
 

The 2012 AGC Federal Contractors Conference will be held April 16-19, 2012, at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. This meeting is the only national event where contractors and federal agency personnel can meet in a collaborative forum to review federal construction contracting issues and trends 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, foster better communication, and create real solutions.

If you are engaged in any aspect of constructing, designing, or planning a federal project and you are a general contractor, specialty contractor, service/supplier, attorney or any other important stakeholder already engaged in the Federal or Federally-assisted 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.

The conference is geared for AGC members who perform a diverse range of projects including building construction for agencies such as the General Services Administration, military construction projects for our Armed Services, highway and transportation projects for our nation, and water resources projects that benefit our nation's navigation and flood control. AGC continues to inform members from specific industry segments about emerging issues and trends that are relevant to their work.

To learn more about the conference, download the conference  brochure and register, please visit  www.agc.org/fedcon.

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

AGC Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee Hears from FASB Chair
 

The AGC Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee held their winter meeting on Jan. 5 and 6.  The committee discussed numerous topics, including: the legislative and political landscape, an update of Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) activities regarding revenue recognition, leases and the evolving recognition by FASB that private companies have different needs than public companies.  There was a detailed report on the possibility of comprehensive tax reform and how it will impact the construction industry. There was also a detailed discussion on evolving construction tax issues and a comprehensive update on construction audits.

Highlights of the meeting include an address from FASB Chairwoman Leslie Seidman and a detailed discussion led by Attorney Chuck Lieser on the U.S. Tax Court Case, “Gibson and Associates, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.”

The Tax Committee will next meet in Washington, D.C., June 14-15, 2012.

For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202) 547-3350 or shoafj@agc.org. Return to Top

LABOR
OFCCP Proposes Changes to Affirmative Action Obligations Related to Individuals with Disabilities
 

On Dec. 9, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued its proposed rule to revise regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act implementing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations to contractors and subcontractors, and to evaluate the affirmative action provisions.  Currently, employers that have a direct contract (including a construction contract) with the federal government or its agencies that is valued at $10,000 or more, or that have a subcontract of the same value required to complete a direct federal contract, are required to engage in affirmative action related to individuals with disabilities.  Projects that are funded by federal aid programs, such as the federal aid highway program, are not affected.  

Such federal contractors (or subcontractors) with 50 or more employees and a contract of $50,000 or more are also required to create an affirmative action program containing certain required provisions.   If implemented, construction employers would be required to complete additional statistical analysis on their workforce, regardless of where projects are located or how long such projects last.  Given the unique seasonal and often transitory nature of the industry, this would place a significant burden on construction contractors.

AGC has more information available on the proposed rule including hiring goals, record keeping requirements and annual reports, linkage agreements, performing self-assessments, hiring requirements and new language for subcontracts. Please review this information on the AGC website.

The comment deadline is Feb. 7, 2012, however, given the importance of the proposal AGC submitted a letter to OFCCP requesting an additional 60 days to more thoroughly review and comment on the newly proposed requirements, for which we are still awaiting a response. 

Members interested in providing feedback to AGC should contact Tamika Carter at (703) 837-5382 or cartert@agc.org. Return to Top

2012 ELECTION
Romney Takes New Hampshire & Iowa; Will Republicans Finally Rally Behind Him?
 

Mitt Romney secured a decisive and expected victory in Tuesday night’s New Hampshire presidential primary, easily defeating runner-up Ron Paul and leaving his conservative challengers trailing far behind. As a result, the former Massachusetts governor is the first-ever Republican who is not an incumbent president to win both the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.

The question remains: will the Republican Party finally fall in line behind Romney? The South Carolina primary scheduled for Jan. 21 will likely answer that question. As it stands, recent Palmetto state polls reflect Romney having anywhere from a 2 percent to 18 percent lead over Newt Gingrich. Political pundits inside the Beltway point to social conservatives continued uncertainty of Romney’s stance on their issues as the reason for the potentially close horse race in South Carolina.

With the general election only 299 days away, AGC PAC continues to closely monitor the presidential race as well as all congressional races for construction-friendly candidates.

For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at 202-547-5013 or christiansonj@agc.org.
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