Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 4, 2012
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On the Inside
BUDGET
Bipartisan Groups of Senators Working to Avert Both Spending and Tax Portions of the “Fiscal Cliff”
2012 ELECTIONS
Presidential Debate Series
AGC EVENTS
AGC Chapter Leaders Visit D.C., Call On Congress to Stimulate Demand for Construction
Registration Now Open! AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum
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BUDGET
Bipartisan Groups of Senators Working to Avert Both Spending and Tax Portions of the “Fiscal Cliff”
 

Although Congress has adjourned until after the Nov. 6 election, bipartisan groups of senators are meeting to start compiling a plan to avoid the looming fiscal cliff.  The Gang of Six (senators Warner (D-VA), Chambliss (R-GA), Durbin (D-IL), Conrad (D-ND), Crapo (R-ID) and Coburn (R-OK)), which has been discussing a bipartisan deficit reduction plan since late 2011, has recently added two Senators (Alexander (R-TN) and Bennett (D-CO))  and planned meetings between now and election day.  This group is primarily focused on avoiding the fiscal cliff of the automatic tax increases that will impact all working Americans on January 1, 2013.

In addition, another bipartisan group consisting of Senators McCain (R-AZ), Levin (D-MI), Ayotte (R-NH), Graham (R-SC), Shaheen (D-NH) and Whitehouse (D-RI)  has been focused primarily on avoiding the $109 billion of indiscriminate, automatic budget cuts—a process called sequestration—currently set to occur on Jan. 2, 2013, The Second group is largely angling to avoid cuts to defense programs.  AGC chapters and members met with their Congressional offices this week during the National Chapter Leadership Conference to discuss the impacts of the fiscal cliff on the construction industry.

The groups are discussing a three-step process to avert both elements of the fiscal cliff. The first step would be an agreement on an overall deficit reduction figure—which some have noted to be $4 trillion over 10 years—achieved through tax and entitlement reform as well as spending cuts. With that framework approved, relevant congressional committees would be responsible for drafting the details within six months to a year. The commission’s tax, entitlement and spending reforms could yield as much as $2 trillion in savings. Lastly, Congress would vote to replace sequestration with specific budget cuts and delay the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

Details of this plan remain unclear and the situation is extremely fluid. However, the consequences of falling off the fiscal cliff remain clear: many federal construction investment accounts could see an 8 to 10 percent cut in available budgetary resources and taxpayers will experience as $390 to $500 billion tax increase. AGC continues to work with House and Senate staff to encourage a bipartisan proposal to not ignore the positive impact infrastructure investment has on our overall economy and the impact of ignoring required maintenance of our infrastructure assets.  More information on the fiscal cliff can be found here and the prioritization of infrastructure investment here.

For more information, please 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

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2012 ELECTIONS
Presidential Debate Series
 

Last night in the battleground state of Colorado, President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney met for the first of three presidential debates.  This debate focused on domestic policy and featured discussions on the economy, tax policy, health care and the role of government. 

Pundits across all network and cable shows agreed that Romney outperformed expectations and the president appeared off his game.  While early polls of uncommitted voters showed Romney winning the debate, it is yet to be seen if the governor’s performance will change the momentum in the race.  Nationally, a recent Politico/GWU Battleground Poll showed the race within the margin of error, but Obama still maintains leads in many key swing states.  For evidence this debate moved uncommitted voters or those leaning toward re-electing the president to Romney’s side – look for movement in polls from Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.  Especially focus on any movement among undecided and democrat voters.

The next debate in the presidential series will take place on Thursday, October 11 between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan.  It will focus on domestic and foreign policy.  This will be the only time the vice presidential candidates meet to debate.

Upcoming debates:

  • Thursday, October 11: Vice Presidential Debate at Centre College in Danville, KY
  • Tuesday, October 16: Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY
  • Monday, October 22: Presidential Debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL

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

AGC EVENTS
AGC Chapter Leaders Visit D.C., Call On Congress to Stimulate Demand for Construction
 

Earlier this week, AGC’s chapter leaders descended upon Washington, DC for its annual National & Chapter Leadership Conference. This conference is designed to bring chapter leaders together to discuss best practices and meet with Members of Congress to address AGC's top legislative issues. AGC members visited with more than 100 members of Congress and their staff.  During the meetings with legislators, AGC members used 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. 

The Conference-designated “hill day” commenced with a session featuring Charlie Cook, who gave his election outlook for the House, Senate and Presidential elections and ended with a discussion on the current Congress and ways to fix the federal debt between AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr and Rep. Stephen LaTourette (R-OH).

For more information, please contact Brynn Tupper at (703) 837-5376 or tupperb@agc.org. Return to Top

Registration Now Open! AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum
Formerly AGC Tax & Fiscal Affairs Committee
 

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.

To register for the forum, please click here.

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

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