Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org August 9, 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
FEDERALCONTRACTING
Free Webinar on New Federal Contractors Executive Compensation & Subcontractor Awards Final Rule
AGC Responds to Interior Departmentís Reverse Auction Use for Procuring Construction Services
ADMINISTRATION
Regulatory Advisor to Leave Administration
ENVIRONMENT
New Legislation Introduced to Prevent Fly Ash Regulations
SAFETY
Join AGC & USACE for Meeting on Safety Manual Revisions
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress that Americaís Water Infrastructure Needs Investment
Diminishing Federal Dollars Delay Reclamation Projects
2012 ELECTIONS
Two More Senate Primaries Decided
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
FEDERALCONTRACTING
Free Webinar on New Federal Contractors Executive Compensation & Subcontractor Awards Final Rule
 

AGC will hold a free webinar on August 28 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT to educate federal contractors about a final executive compensation and subcontractor award rule that is going into effect on August 27. Mr. Edward DeLisle, a partner in the construction and federal contracting groups of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC, will discuss the rule’s scope and how federal contractors can comply with the new rule. To RSVP for the webinar, click here.

The new rule promulgated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council burdens prime contractors with reporting not only their top five paid executives, but also their first-tier subcontractor’s top five paid executives when the subcontract has a value of $25,000 or more. A prime contractor must report this information to its first-tier subcontractor when either contractor received at least 80 percent or $25 million or more of its annual gross revenues from federal contracts in the previous calendar year. Executive compensation need not be reported if the public has access to the information through certain periodic reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or the Internal Revenue Code.

When the FAR Council first solicited comments on the interim rule in 2010, AGC expressedits grave concerns with its burden on federal contractors. Among those concerns, AGC noted that many small business contractors lack the infrastructure to track such information and that primes should not be responsible for reporting subcontractor information. In the comments to the final rule, the FAR Council admits the financial burden and further clarified the definition of “first-tier subcontractor.” However, the Council did not alter the prime’s duty to report the subcontractor information, stating that “[t]he Federal Government has noprivity of contract with subcontractors and is therefore reluctant to establish communication channels that could potentially be construed as creating a contractual relationship.”

To attend this informational, free webinar on the rule, click here.

For moreinformation, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org. Return to Top

Advertisement
AGC Responds to Interior Departmentís Reverse Auction Use for Procuring Construction Services
 

On August 8, AGC urged the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to reverse a decision to procure construction services using an online reverse auction. Specifically, the National Parks Service (NPS)—an agency within DOI’s jurisdiction—recently issued a solicitation for the “delivery and supply of flexible road base” to be procured as a commercial item contract, rather than a construction services contract, using a reverse auction.  

AGC strongly advocates its opposition to the use of reverse auction procurement for construction services. In its letter to DOI, AGC notes that despite the NPS solicitation’s indication otherwise, it remains “a supply contract for construction services—specified construction material excavation, refinement and delivery.” AGC further mentions that “the complexities of these processes simply do not compare to the purchase of an off-the-shelf commercial item” and should not be procured as such through a reverse auction.

To supplement its arguments, AGC shared its position paper on reverse auctions for construction services procurement and the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers’ report highlighting why it abandoned the use of reverse auctions for procuring construction services nearly ten years ago.

For more information, please contact Jimmy Christiansonat 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org. Return to Top

ADMINISTRATION
Regulatory Advisor to Leave Administration
 

On August 3, the White House Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Cass Sunstein, announced he would be stepping down shortly. Sunstein often stressed pragmatism over ideology as he headed an often overlooked federal agency, which has proven to be an important federal agency that reviews all new federal regulations before they are finalized.  Over the past three and half years, there have been several times when his office has slowed down or even stopped some of the more controversial regulations. In the past, AGC has used the OIRA review process to stress the industry’s position on key issues. AGC hopes to continue to work with the office after Sunstein leaves his post.

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

ENVIRONMENT
New Legislation Introduced to Prevent Fly Ash Regulations
 

Legislation to prevent U.S. EPA from regulating coal ash disposal and instead allow states to manage oversight of the waste has been introduced by a bipartisan group of senators. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) were joined by over a dozen other co-sponsors for H.R. 2273, “The Coal Residual Reuse and Management Act.”  Ever since a release from a coal ash disposal facility in Tennessee in 2008, there has been pressure on EPA to designate coal ash as a hazardous waste and to issue regulations on its use.

AGC has opposed these restrictions because of the significant negative repercussions for the use of fly ash in concrete and other construction recycling applications and because of potential contractor liability from using this product. Legislation passed the House in October by a vote of 267-144, with 37 Democrats voting in favor to prevent EPA from taking this action. That bill was initially included as an amendment in the transportation reauthorization bill, MAP-21, but the coal ash language was dropped when the bill reached final negotiations.

A bill identical to the House version was introduced in the Senate, but did not have the needed support for enactment. The new bill is intended as a compromise to garner the support necessary to have it approved in this Congress. H.R. 2273 give states the choice of creating their own regulatory systems as long as they follow certain federal guidelines. EPA would be able to step in if a state chooses not to regulate coal ash disposal or if its program proves flawed. AGC will continue to work in support of this effort.

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

SAFETY
Join AGC & USACE for Meeting on Safety Manual Revisions
 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has revised the schedule for the EM 385-1-1, 2008 revision to allow more time for industry review, with first draft comments due to USACE before Sept. 1, 2012.  The schedule change provides AGC and its members an opportunity to thoroughly review the entire manual and identify potential areas for improvement or clarification.

AGC will be hosting a meeting with members of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA), as well as the Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) on Aug. 21, 2012, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at AGC Headquarters in Arlington, Va.  On Aug. 22, 2012, USACE staff will meet with the group to discuss any comments and concerns.

If you are interested in attending the meeting (in person or by phone), please RSVP no later than COB Aug. 10, 2012 to Raj Vohra at vohrar@agc.org or 703-837-5409.  To make hotel reservations, click here. For those who cannot attend the meeting in person, we will be providing call in information prior to the meeting.

For more information contact Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.org or 703-837-5410 or Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or 703-837-5325. Return to Top

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress that Americaís Water Infrastructure Needs Investment
 

When Congress comes back from its August recess, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee will likely work on reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA authorizes federal investment in and policies for flood control, navigation and environmental restoration projects and has not been reauthorized since 2007, when more than $23 billion was authorized over five years. Contact your representative and senators NOW to tell them it’s time to reauthorize WRDA by clicking here.

AGC this week met with congressional staff on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) and Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committees to discuss prospects of WRDA reauthorization. The discussions made clear that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the EPW Committee, would like to take action on a WRDA bill this Congress.  Members of the House T&I Committee are also interested in moving a WRDA bill, but note the limited timeframe before this Congress adjourns in December and the earmark moratorium as potential road blocks. That said, members of Congress need to hear from you—contractors who know the situation on the ground—to help make a WRDA bill possible.

Inland waterways help keep the nation's economy flowing, transporting $180 billion of coal, steel, chemicals and other goods each year — a sixth of U.S. freight — across 38 states. However, an archaic system of locks and dams threatens the timely delivery of those goods daily. Additionally, while the U.S. has ports on the West Coast (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle/Tacoma) and East Coast (New York, Baltimore and Hampton Roads) expected to be ready with post-Panamax channels in 2014, there is currently a lack of post-Panamax capacity at U.S. Gulf and South Atlantic ports – the very regions geographically positioned to potentially be most impacted by the expected changes in the world fleet.

Tell Congress NOW, it’s time to begin work on WRDA. Click here to send your representative and senators a letter about America’s need for a WRDA bill.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org or Sean O’Neill at 202-547-8892 or oneills@agc.org. Return to Top

Diminishing Federal Dollars Delay Reclamation Projects
 

In its recent report to Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation noted that diminishing federal funding over the years has resulted in delays to rural water supply projects.  Between 1980 and 2007, Congress directed the Bureau to undertake eleven specific rural water supply projects. Of those eleven, four have been completed in South Dakota and in Montana and seven remain unfinished in North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, Iowa and Minnesota.

Further underinvestment in these projects will further delay their completion. Congress currently appropriates $50 million a year for these projects. The report notes that if that rate of investment were to continue, these projects would be completed “perhaps not until well after 2063 despite close to $4 billion being invested by that time.” Additionally, the report mentions that an annual federal investment of $162 million would speed up project delivery to 2029 at a total federal investment of about $3 billion.

AGC continues to advocate on Capitol Hill for common sense investment in our nation’s water infrastructure.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org Return to Top

2012 ELECTIONS
Two More Senate Primaries Decided
 

On Tuesday, voters in Michigan and Missouri went to the polls to cast ballots in their party’s primary contests.

As expected, Michigan Republicans selected former Congressman Pete Hoekstra as their nominee to challenge Senator Debbie Stabenow (D). Hoekstra, who served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and ran unsuccessfully for his party’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination, defeated Cornerstone Schools Co-founder Clark Durant and Michigan Family Forum President Randy Hekman with 54.2 percent. Durant and Hekman received 33.5 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

Hoekstra now faces an uphill battle in his bid to unseat the two-term Senator. The Real Clear Politics (RCP) rolling average of the major national polls from June 24 to July 31 shows Stabenow with a clear advantage. The Senator leads 49.8 percent to 38.6 percent.

In Missouri, Republicans must be relieved that their bruising primary contest is now complete. Congressman Todd Akin won the right to take on first term Senator Claire McCaskill (D). Unlike the primary to the North, this contest was much closer. Akin won with only 36 percent of the vote to businessman John Brunner’s and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman’s 30 percent and 29.2 percent respectively. Reasons for a close finish include Brunner spending over $8 million of his own money on his campaign and Steelman garnering the endorsement of Sarah Palin, as well as strong support from the trial lawyers.

Of the three leading Republicans, Akin was clearly the most conservative of the group and polling showed he would be the weaker challenger against McCaskill. Despite this, Akin will be a slight favorite to move this Missouri Senate seat to the Republican column.  Currently, the Real Clear Politics average shows him leading McCaskill 47 percent to 44 percent.

The next set of primaries takes place this Tuesday in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Click on your state to find out where to vote.

For more information, please contact David Ashinoff at (202) 547-5013 or ashinoffd@agc.org. 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.