Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org March 22, 2012
Spacer
AGC Home Page
Email our Editor
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Subscribe
Printer Friendly
AGC Political Toolkit
Advertisement

Take Action!
On the Inside
BUDGET
House Budget Committee Passes FY 2013 Budget Resolution
TRANSPORTATION
House Proposes 9th Extension for Transportation Authorization
House Budget Proposal Cuts Transportation But Provides Reserve Fund to Cover Costs of H.R. 7
Rally for Roads
ENVIRONMENT
Supreme Court Victory for Construction Industry This Week on Wetlands Issue
AGC PAC
Mitt-Mentum Gaining Speed With Recent Victories
Incumbent versus Incumbent Congressional Primary Recap: Ohio & Illinois
Advertisement

BUDGET
House Budget Committee Passes FY 2013 Budget Resolution
 

Yesterday, by a margin of 19-18, the House Budget Committee passed their budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2013, the "Path to Prosperity." Two Republicans, Justin Amash (Mich.) and Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), joined all Democrats in opposing the resolution.  A summary of the "Path to Prosperity" can be found here. The FY 2013 budget resolution is expected to be on the House floor next week where it will be opposed by Democrats and may face opposition from some Republicans. The annual budget resolution is supposed to set the overall spending limits appropriators will use when they begin work on the annual spending legislation.  The resolution addresses every aspect of the federal budget including discretionary spending, entitlement programs and taxes. 

The budget resolution would set the discretionary spending cap at $1.028 trillion.  The cap is the same as last year's House Republican Budget but $19 billion below the $1.047 trillion cap set in the Budget Control Act passed last August.  The resolution calls for using a process known as budget reconciliation to cut more than $200 billion in mandatory spending  over 10 years and eliminating $55 billion in planned defense cuts through sequestration (as outlined in the Budget Control Act).  In terms of taxes, the plan assumes no new tax increases, consolidates the six current tax brackets into two brackets of 10 and 25 percent, repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax, and reduces the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

The resolution's impact on federal construction accounts is yet to be determined.  It can be assumed, however, based on the overall budget number that federal construction accounts will once again see an overall cut in funding.  Ultimately, the appropriators will decide what discretionary programs get funded and at what levels.  As reported in the transportation reauthorization story below, the resolution does have a direct impact on transportation construction funding.

Throughout the budget and appropriations process, AGC will continue to educate members of Congress on the importance of continued investment in our federal construction programs.

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

TRANSPORTATION
House Proposes 9th Extension for Transportation Authorization
 

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) announced that he will introduce a “clean” three-month extension of highway and transit programs that contains no policy changes. The extension will not be taken up until next week. Chairman Mica said that the extension will give House Republicans time to work on completing a five-year version of reauthorization. H.R. 7, as reported from House committees.  Current program authorization expires on March 31, 2012. In addition to spending, authorization to collect the federal motor fuels tax expires at the same time. The proposed extension would run until June 30.

Last week, the Senate passed MAP-21, a two-year authorization of the surface transportation programs, by a vote of 74-22. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has been calling for the House to take up the Senate bill rather than pass a short-term extension. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he is not inclined to bring up a short-term extension. Yesterday, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) introduced the Senate bill in the House and attempted to have it added as an amendment to a separate piece of legislation that was under consideration. That effort was unsuccessful.

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

House Budget Proposal Cuts Transportation But Provides Reserve Fund to Cover Costs of H.R. 7
 

The House Budget Committee completed action on a proposed FY 2013 budget resolution, introduced earlier in the week by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The proposal would reduce federal transportation funding investment from $88.6 billion in FY 2012 to $57.1 billion in FY 2013, a reduction of $31.5 billion (36 percent). The resolution does not identify the specific categories of transportation cuts. However, the proposal provides for a “reserve fund” that would allow transportation spending to increase if Congress enacts a measure that, “maintains the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, but only if such measure would not increase the deficit over the period of fiscal years 2013 through 2022.”

By allowing for the “reserve fund” to increase transportation funding if revenue is raised, this year’s budget resolution is more flexible than last year’s resolution which limited funding from the Highway Trust Fund to levels that could be supported by the revenue coming into the fund. In addition, the FY 2012 House budget resolution specifically said the federal motor fuels tax would not be increased and transfers from the general fund into the Highway Trust Fund were prohibited. The net result of that language would have required a 30-35 percent cut in future highway and transit funding.

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

Rally for Roads
 

AGC teamed up with our transportation and construction industry allies in sponsoring the “Rally for Roads” which took place on March 20 on the National Mall. Local construction companies transported construction equipment and nearly five hundred industry representatives, including workers in hard hats, provided the backdrop for the rally to draw attention to the economic importance of enacting a multiyear transportation reauthorization bill. Members of Congress addressed the crowd including: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), T&I Ranking Democrat Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), T&I Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) along with Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

ENVIRONMENT
Supreme Court Victory for Construction Industry This Week on Wetlands Issue
 

This week, the construction industry has been hit with good news on the issue of federal jurisdiction over wetlands in the Clean Water Act. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous March 21 ruling, said that an Idaho couple could legally challenge an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance order that told them to restore wetlands on their property. The case was filed by Mike and Chantell Sackett of Idaho, who were told by EPA that they were unable to get judicial review over EPA’s designation that pieces of their land is wetlands. They were further told that if they did not obey a compliance order directing them to restore the property they had already begun developing to its original state, they would be subject to up to $37,500 a day in fines.

The court determined that the jurisdictional order handed down by EPA constituted final action, and was ultimately subject to judicial review. EPA had argued that final action would have been a civil suit and fines, and those would be subject to judicial review. The court’s decision allows for landowners, developers and construction firms to challenge EPA or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designation of land as a wetland. The court further expressed its frustration with Congress and the agencies for the lack of clarity over in determining jurisdiction. AGC will continue to join with other industry stakeholders to help bring certainty and fairness to the Clean Water Act jurisdictional issue.

For more info contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org or Leah Pilconis at (703) 837-5332 or pilconisl@agc.org.
Return to Top
AGC PAC
Mitt-Mentum Gaining Speed With Recent Victories
 

With recent presidential primary victories in American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Northern Marianas Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Gov Mitt Romney has amassed nearly half of the delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

Most notably, Romney won Illinois on Tuesday, March 20 over Senator Rick Santorum by nearly 12 points. As a result of that victory, the governor secured 39 of 54 delegates awarded by the state. To date, the delegate count breaks down as follows: Romney (563 delegates); Santorum (263); Gingrich (135); Paul (50). The magic number is 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.

Next up, Louisiana holds its primary on Saturday, March 24 with its 46 delegates at stake. Recent polls indicate that Sen. Santorum will easily win there, as he did in Alabama and Mississippi. AGC PAC continues to monitor this race and congressional races for construction-friendly candidates worthy of the industry’s support.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 202-547-5013 or christiansonj@agc.org or visit www.agc.org/pac. Return to Top

Incumbent versus Incumbent Congressional Primary Recap: Ohio & Illinois
 

The 2012 congressional redistricting process to date has produced 13 incumbent versus incumbent races across the country. Every 10 years, congressional district lines are redrawn in accordance with the national census results, a process generally referred to as redistricting.

In Ohio and Illinois, two incumbent races were recently determined: (1) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) defeated Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio); and (2) Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) prevailed over Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.).

AGC PAC participated in the Illinois race and contributed the maximum amount to the winner: Rep. Kinzinger, a freshman Republican lawmaker who has proven his interest in supporting the legislative priorities of the construction industry. To date, Rep. Kinzinger has voted with AGC 100 percent of the time, co-sponsored 3 percent withholding repeal and signed on to an AGC-supported letter that was sent to House Republican leadership calling for a multiyear surface transportation reauthorization bill.

AGC PAC continues to monitor congressional races for construction-friendly candidates worthy of the industry’s support.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 202-547-5013 or christiansonj@agc.org or visit www.agc.org/pac. Return to Top

AGC Townhouse, 53 D Street SE • Washington, DC 20003 • 202.547.1625 (phone) • 202.547.1635 (fax)• www.agc.org
AGC Home | About AGC | Advocacy | Industry Topics | Construction Markets | Programs & Events | Career Development | News & Media

To ensure delivery of AGC’s Construction Legislative Week in Review, please add 'communications@agc.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, visit our white-listing page for more details.

© Copyright The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. All Rights Reserved.