Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org July 2, 2015
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On the Inside
ENVIRONMENT
Final ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Published, 27 States File Suits
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
How Would the Blacklisting Executive Order Impact Your Company?
Senate Approves AGC-Supported Legislation on VA Construction Program
TRANSPORTATION
Newest Highway Trust Fund Insolvency Projections Look Grim
2016 ELECTIONS
He’s Not Looking to Be Prom King of America
ENVIRONMENT
Final ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Published, 27 States File Suits
 

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule detailing the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act in the Federal Register this week. The 60-day effective date clock starts upon publication, making the rule effective August 28, 2015. With the rule now final, there are likely to be many implementation questions, concerns and even new guidance. AGC is working to update information on the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center with the latest available resources.  However, AGC’s efforts to inform its members on the new rule will span several months as it becomes clearer how the rule will be implemented.

Immediately following official publication, several states began filing lawsuits. In total, 27 states across four separate suits have taken legal action against the administration’s rulemaking. The suits are varied in their reasoning, some alleging usurpation of state responsibility for management of certain waters, some discussing the overly expansive definition of tributary, and others claiming the rule violates the CWA, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Constitution.

For more detailed information regarding the final rule & subsequent lawsuits, please click here.

For more information contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org. Return to Top

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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
How Would the Blacklisting Executive Order Impact Your Company?
Please Complete the Survey Below to Help You & AGC
 

The Obama administration recently issued a proposed rule and guidance to implement its AGC-opposed “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” (Blacklisting) Executive Order. Please complete this survey to help AGC show how the Blacklisting Executive Order would impact the construction industry.

Under the executive order, direct-federal contractors and subcontractors would have to do ALL of the following:

  • Keep track of all of their violations of federal and state labor or employment laws, including all administrative determinations (such as OSHA citations), all civil judgments and all arbitration awards, for the last three years;
  • Include information on all of those violations in all bids and proposals to perform federal contracts exceeding $500,000; and
  • Provide information on any new violations to the contracting officer/prime contractor every six months for the term of any federal contract they are performing.

The executive order would also require prime contractors to evaluate their subcontractors’ labor violations at all subcontracting tiers and determine whether the subcontractors are “responsible.” Contractors would have to perform this evaluation process for subcontractors that make offers before bid submission as well as those subcontractors that actually perform work post-contract award.

Again, please take a moment to complete this survey, so AGC can best represent you before Congress and the administration.

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

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Senate Approves AGC-Supported Legislation on VA Construction Program
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Would Execute VA Projects above $100 Million as Part of Legislation
 

The Senate recently passed legislation to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to execute new Department of Veterans Affairs construction projects valued above $100 million. The provision, introduced by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), was included in the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2016.

The House version of the Defense Act does not include such a provision. The House and Senate have begun conference negotiations on the Defense Act and will consider this provision, among many others, for inclusion in a final bill for consideration by both chambers later this year.

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

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TRANSPORTATION
Newest Highway Trust Fund Insolvency Projections Look Grim
Visit www.HardhatsforHighways.org and Urge Congress to Fix the Trust Fund
 

The United States Department of Transportation recently updated its Highway Trust Fund Ticker, and the projections are not good. If Congress fails to intervene, the highway account will dip below its critical $4 billion balance by the end of July and will be insolvent the first week of September.  According to the department, if no new revenue is found for the trust fund, federal officials may consider implementing cash management procedures to manage the flow of federal dollars.  If that happens, reimbursements to states for infrastructure work will be limited to the available cash in the trust fund. 

In addition to the transportation department’s announcement, the Congressional Budget Office recently testified at House and Senate congressional hearings that, absent congressional action, the Highway Trust Fund will fall below the $4 billion balance it is required to keep.

Congress can no longer ignore the impending crisis facing the trust fund.  AGC and our members must continue to press for action on a Highway Trust Fund fix when Congress returns to work following the Fourth of July recess.  More information can be found at www.hardhatsforhighways.org.

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

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2016 ELECTIONS
He’s Not Looking to Be Prom King of America
 

Returning to his high school roots in Livingston, NJ, Gov. Chris Christie officially became the 14th Republican presidential candidate when he declared his political intention at a rally-style announcement event.  Saying that he’s “…not looking to be prom king of America," the Governor elaborated, telling the assembled supporters and media that, "I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that's what America needs right now."

Mr. Christie has a long way to go in order to propel himself into the top tier of Republican candidates.  Languishing in mid-single digits in most polls, usually with an upside down personal favorability ratio, Mr. Christie will have a difficult time developing a path to the GOP nomination.  Positioning himself to the left of the typical Republican primary voter with a brash personal style that many people find offensive, the Governor will have to rebuild his personal image before he can hope to effectively compete for the nomination.

On the other hand, he has a fair chance of accumulating a significant number of delegates.  New Jersey, with 51 delegates, is one of seven Winner-Take-All states meaning that Mr. Christie could place first with a small plurality of votes equaling just a fraction of the support he received during his two gubernatorial campaigns.  Assuming he collects other delegates in the proportional states, and should the nomination be decided in a brokered convention, Mr. Christie could find himself in an influential position to help determine the final outcome.

The presidential contest also includes former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Dr. Ben Carson (R), former Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.), former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), businesswoman Carly Fiorina (R), US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.), former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), US Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Governor George Pataki (R-N.Y.), former Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas), US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former US Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), and businessman Donald Trump (R).

Considering a bid are Vice President Joe Biden (D) who will decide by August 1, Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) who is expected to enter the field on July 21, Governor Scott Walker (R-Wis.) who will announce in July, and former US Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.).

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

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