Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org April 28, 2016
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On the Inside
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Wins Round 1 against Blacklisting Executive Order
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC-Backed $9 Billion Water Infrastructure Bill Advances
AGC Successful in Advancing Clean Water Trust Fund and Other Water Infrastructure Provisions in Senate WRDA Bill
AGC Prevents Cuts to Army Corps Construction Funds
TAX
Congress Continues Holding Hearings on Tax Reform, Forward Progress still Unknown
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Wins Round 1 against Blacklisting Executive Order
Amendment Added to House Defense Bill
 

In what may be a 12-ring bout, AGC won round one to block President Obama’s Blacklisting Executive Order. Late last night, the House Armed Services Committee added an AGC-backed provision to the National Defense Authorization Act—a bill that has been annually enacted into law for 54 consecutive years—that ensures the EO will not apply to Department of Defense and National Nuclear Security Administration contracts. AGC will work to expand the application of the EO government-wide when the bill hits the House floor and during consideration in the Senate.

Under the EO, both prime and subcontractors must report violations of 14 federal labor laws and “equivalent” state labor laws during the previous three years, and again every six months, on federal contracts over $500,000. Prime contractors would also be responsible for evaluating the labor law violations of their subcontractors at all tiers. A single violation, or a combination of multiple violations, could lead a contracting officer to either (1) deny a prime contractor the right to compete for a federal contract; or (2) remove a prime contractor or subcontractor from an ongoing project. Such determinations would be made on an individual contracting officer basis with assistance from newly-created agency labor law compliance advisors.

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

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WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC-Backed $9 Billion Water Infrastructure Bill Advances
Senate Committee Approves Water Resources Development Act
 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved an AGC-supported $9 billion Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which authorizes new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works construction projects, including locks, dams, levees, harbor maintenance dredging and environmental restoration projects, among other construction projects. Specifically, the bill authorizes 25 new Army Corps projects and modifies 4 existing projects. The bill will now move to the Senate floor for consideration. The House is expected to introduce its version of a WRDA bill in early May.

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

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AGC Successful in Advancing Clean Water Trust Fund and Other Water Infrastructure Provisions in Senate WRDA Bill
 

AGC and its industry coalition partners in the Water Infrastructure Network have been working for a number of months to get significant water infrastructure provisions included in the 2016 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in the Senate. We were successful in getting many important provisions approved by the Committee. The bill creates a longtime AGC priority, a Clean Water Trust Fund, and, while this bill itself does not carry additional funding, it authorizes voluntary contributions to the trust fund. Creation of a trust fund dedicated to water infrastructure opens many new possibilities for future dedicated revenue prospects.

Other provisions of note include State Revolving Fund and Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act funding for cities with declared lead in water emergencies (like Flint, Mich.), reauthorizing sewer overflow control grants, new funding for technical assistance to small treatment plants, Safe Drinking Water Act compliance assistance for small disadvantaged communities, reauthorizing funding for desalination, and assistance for low-income residents when replacing lead service lines to homes. This builds on the success we had in getting water infrastructure provisions inserted in the Conference process in the last WRDA bill in 2014. AGC will continue to advocate for this legislation as it advances to the Senate floor.

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

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AGC Prevents Cuts to Army Corps Construction Funds
 

This week, AGC successfully blocked legislation that would cut millions of dollars from the Army Corps of Engineers civil works construction program in fiscal year 2017. Sen. Jeff Flake introduced the amendment to the USACE annual funding bill that failed on an 84-12 vote. The Senate continues to consider the USACE funding bill as of publication.

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

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TAX
Congress Continues Holding Hearings on Tax Reform, Forward Progress still Unknown
 

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on ways Congress could reform the business tax code to make it more globally competitive and to consider the findings of the Committee’s bipartisan business income tax working group. Members also discussed anticipated discussion drafts on corporate integration and cost recovery reform from leaders of the committee. AGC has been actively involved in vetting the discussion drafts with both the committee’s majority and minority staff. AGC will continue to monitor these legislative proposals that have the aim to provide clarity, simplicity and certainty for construction firms.

In convening the hearing, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R‐Utah) noted that the goal of the committee would be to produce business tax reform proposals for debate in the next Congress. Chairman Hatch’s proposal would end the double tax on corporate income, which could have a cascading effect for how pass-through entities organize. Chairman Hatch has said his integration plan may not be publically released until late June.

Meanwhile, Ranking Member Ron Wyden (R-Ore.) released an 88-page proposal aimed at simplifying depreciation schedules known as the “Cost Recovery Reform and Simplification Act of 2016.”  Senator Wyden’s proposal is modeled on a similar concept developed by former Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). In summary, it would replace the current depreciation system with a simplified framework of 6 depreciation rates (or “pools”) for most assets other than real property. The discussion draft is a detailed, but not final, document that outlines principles and concepts. Members of AGC’s Financial Issues Committee will review and provide comment to the committee.

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

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