AGC Expresses Disappointment Over Congress Passing a Six-Month Funding Bill
In a Sept. 25 letter, AGC expressed its
disappointment in Congress for passing a six-month, FY 2013 continuing
resolution (CR)—funding the government through March 27, 2013, at about FY 2012
levels—and urged it to return to the practice of enacting traditional,
year-long funding measures that provide some certainty to the construction
industry. The House first passed the CR on Sept. 13 and the Senate passed it Sept.
22. President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law before the new
fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
The impact of punting on the FY 2013 appropriations process
until next year has serious consequences for construction projects let directly
from the federal government. Specifically, under the CR, federal agencies are
generally prohibited from beginning work on new and necessary projects for the
next six months. In addition, the CR underfunds the highway and transit
investment levels in the recently enacted transportation authorization bill,
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). As a result,
construction contractors will likely see fewer opportunities for work, and in
turn, less reason to hire more employees. In its letter, AGC notes that “in a
political environment focused on giving employers more certainty in the market
place to create new jobs, Congress’s passage of the CR, rather than regular
appropriations bills, further increases uncertainty and hinders job growth.”
The letter further highlights the trend of cuts to critical federal
infrastructure and facilities accounts.
When Congress faced a similar situation in 2011, it cut $40
billion in the FY 2011 appropriations CR the following spring. Although some welcomed
the cuts, federal construction investment accounts absorbed more than half of
them—about $21 billion. AGC is keenly aware of the situation at hand and has
put Congress on notice “that balancing the federal budget requires
prioritization, not just cuts.”
The U.S. interstate system was built in 1956, most locks and
dams have exceeded their 50 year life span, and the average age of failing
water mains is 47 years old, representing 22 percent of all water mains.
AGC continues to strongly urge Congress to enact adequate levels of
construction investment to ensure that America’s aging infrastructure and
facilities receive required maintenance and expand to meet growing economic and
For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at
703-837-5325 or email@example.com.
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FHWA Releases Interim Guidance on MAP-21 Implementation
On Sept. 25, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal
Highway Administration released new information regarding the implementation of
the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The guidance and interim
guidance documents, along with questions & answers,
were issued ahead of the Oct. 1 effective date for most highway provisions in
MAP-21 both funding and changes to policy.
The documents give an overview of the new National Highway
Performance and Surface Transportation programs. There is also
information on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, Metropolitan
Planning, Highway Safety Improvement program, tolling and major projects
finance plan. In terms of the question and answer section – areas that
are covered are transition, infrastructure; environment planning and realty;
operations; innovative program delivery; federal lands; research; and finance.
AGC will continue to monitor the implementation of MAP-21.
For more information please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DOT Proposes Stringent Changes to DBE Program
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on
Sept. 6 asking for comment on the significant changes made to its Disadvantaged
Business Enterprise (DBE) rules. Comments are due by Nov. 5. The proposal
suggests a series of changes in the bidding process, counting DBE participation
and documenting good faith efforts for compliance. The proposed rule would also
tighten down on the certification process that determines whether or not a firm
qualifies as a DBE.
For more details on the proposed changes, please click here. A task force of AGC members will be reviewing
the NPRM to assist AGC in providing substantive comments to DOT on the proposed
information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or email@example.com.
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AGC Chapter Leaders to Visit D.C., Call On Congress to Stimulate Demand for Construction
Next week, AGC will hold its annual National & Chapter Leadership
Conference in Washington, D.C., which brings chapter leaders together to
discuss best practices and meet with members of Congress to address AGC's top
legislative issues. During the meetings with legislators, AGC members will use
the opportunity to urge support for increased federal investment in infrastructure,
multi-employer pension plan reform, extending expired and expiring tax
provisions to avoid the fiscal cliff and support legislation to stop EPA
guidance from expanding federal wetlands jurisdiction.
For more information, please contact Brynn Tupper at (703)
837-5376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Save the Date! AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum
Jan. 10-11, 2013 | Scottsdale, Arizona
The AGC Financial
Issues Forum will hold their winter meeting Jan. 10-11, 2013 in Scottsdale,
Arizona at Hotel Valley Ho. At this meeting, attendees will discuss
numerous topics, including: the legislative and political landscape including
the plans for comprehensive tax reform,an update of Federal Accounting Standards
Board (FASB) activities, and a discussion on evolving construction tax issues.
More information will
be available on AGC’s website in the coming weeks.
For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202)
547-3350 or email@example.com.
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