Construction Legislative Week in Review June 4, 2015
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On the Inside
Tax Committee Action: House and Senate
Fourteen Candidates Running for President…and Counting
Tax Committee Action: House and Senate

The Senate Finance Working Groups were granted an informal extension through June to submit their recommendations on ways to reform the tax code to the committee’s leadership. On the House side, committee members are working to wrangle together enough offsets to fund a long-term highway bill.

Rep. Charles Boustany (R- La.) has drafted an international tax reform bill that would use the 2014 tax reform plan by former Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp as a starting point to address issues such as corporate tax rates, patent boxes and anti-base erosion rules. The concept of discouraging domestic multinational companies from “inverting” their domiciled address is on the minds of lead tax writers as an effort to keep the U.S. tax code competitive, retain jobs, and as a way to pay for the Highway Trust Fund.

AGC has been providing information to the committee on potential tax policy changes that impact construction companies over the past six months and expects Congress to continue to debate the international matter further during the summer months.

For more information, please contact Brian Lenihan at or (202) 547-4733. Return to Top

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Fourteen Candidates Running for President…and Counting

Four individuals officially declared their intention to seek the presidency this week bringing the total number of announced candidates to 14 – four Democrats and ten Republicans.

Over the weekend in Baltimore, Md., the state’s former governor, Martin O’Malley (D), officially kicked off his presidential campaign. Prior to his role as state chief executive, Mr. O’Malley served on the Baltimore City Council and later as the city’s mayor. Despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) outpolling him by 57.6 percent in the latest RealClearPolitics average, Mr. O’Malley is heavily targeting Iowa as Ms. Clinton performed poorly there in 2008, finishing third. O’Malley could become a factor in the race if Ms. Clinton falters and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) remains on the sidelines.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) announced his candidacy from his hometown in South Carolina on Monday. Mr. Graham’s speech focused on his hawkish approach to foreign policy. Highlighting his foreign policy approach may be the only way the Senator can distinguish himself in this field of impressive candidates.  The former Air Force lawyer and judge, as well as member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is barely registering in national polls – garnering just 1.3 percent in the latest RealClearPolitics poll. Despite this, Mr. Graham boasts several major backers including billionaires Ronald Perelman and Anita Zucker, and the CEOs of General Electric and Oracle. At this time, it is unlikely he would win the South Carolina primary (2nd in the nation), but certainly has the ability to win enough votes to deny a win to one of the top-tier candidates.

Former Rhode Island Governor and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chaffee (D) entered the presidential fray on Wednesday. Speaking to a half-empty school classroom, Mr. Chaffee cast himself as the anti-war candidate who embraces internationalism. He spoke about waging peace, reinvigorating the United Nations, and switching to the metric system as a symbolic gesture to the world community. Interestingly, Mr. Chaffee is the only candidate running who used to be a Republican and Independent. Currently polling at 1.6 percent, the former Governor has even longer shot chance of winning the nomination than Mr. O’Malley.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) hopes primary voters give him another chance after his 2012 presidential campaign imploded following a debate gaffe. Despite his background, which includes service as a Texas state lawmaker, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, then-Governor George W. Bush’s lieutenant governor, not to mention being the state CEO for 14 years, Mr. Perry is finding it difficult to regain the traction he received in 2012 as a presidential frontrunner. The former governor is struggling to make it in the top 10 and only polls at 2.7 percent.  After spending much of 2014 and the first half of the year boning up on policy, Mr. Perry hopes primary voters give him a second look.

The presidential contest also includes Dr. Ben Carson (R), former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), businesswoman Carly Fiorina (R), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Considering a bid are former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) – who is expected to announce on June 15, Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.), U.S. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) – who is expected to announce on June 24, Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio), Governor Scott Walker (R-Wis.), and former U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.).

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

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