Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org February 2, 2017
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On the Inside
REGULATORY REFORM
House Votes to Rollback Blacklisting Regulations
President Trump Issues Regulatory Reform Executive Order
INFRASTRUCTURE
House Starts Down Infrastructure Road
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
House to Consider Prohibiting Construction Reverse Auctions
Register Now for the 2017 Federal Contractors Conference
TRANSPORTATION
Elaine Chao Confirmed as Transportation Secretary
REGULATORY REFORM
House Votes to Rollback Blacklisting Regulations
Urge Your Senators to Repeal Blacklisting
 

Following a concerted AGC advocacy effort coordinated in conjunction with business organization partners, the House today voted 236-187 to repeal the regulations implementing former-President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces”—commonly called Blacklisting—Executive Order. Now, action moves to the Senate. Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to repeal the blacklisting regulations.

Under the blacklisting regulations, both prime and subcontractors must report violations and alleged 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 during both contract solicitation and contract performance. A single alleged violation 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. A federal court halted implementation of the Blacklisting regulations on Oct. 24, 2016. That litigation continues.

A Senate vote on repealing the Blacklisting regulations may come as soon as early next week. This is one of a handful of regulations issued in the final months of the previous administration—typically referred to as midnight regulations—that Republicans plan to repeal under what is called the Congressional Review Act, which only requires a simple majority (51 votes) in the Senate for a regulation repeal bill to pass. There are 52 Republican Senators in Senate.

Again, please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to repeal the Blacklisting regulations. For more information on the Blacklisting regulations and AGC’s advocacy efforts against them since 2014, click here.

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

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President Trump Issues Regulatory Reform Executive Order
Calls for Removal of Two Old Rules for Every New Rule
 

President Trump this week issued an executive order requiring two regulations to come off the books for each new one issued, allowing agencies to offset the cost of new regulations by eliminating existing ones. However, it is unclear how this executive order will be implemented. The Administrative Procedures Act (APA)—the law governing the regulatory process—requires a number of steps that agencies must undertake to remove—or even tweak—an existing regulation. Agencies may be subject to court challenges during the course of repealing regulations under the APA if they fail to meet various legal criteria.   

AGC will continue to review this executive order and others issued to date. For more AGC analysis on President Trump’s executive actions, click here.

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

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INFRASTRUCTURE
House Starts Down Infrastructure Road
AGC Sends Letter to President Trump
 

This week, AGC of America and AGC chapters joined nearly 400 other associations, labor unions and transportation groups in sending a letter to President Trump expressing support for a major infrastructure plan that, among other things, addresses the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The letter was referenced by House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster in his opening remarks during his committee’s hearing on 21st Century Infrastructure.

Much like AGC’s Agenda to Rebuild American Infrastructure, the hearing focused on addressing the needs of our nation’s roads, bridges, waterways and airports. The witnesses – who included Fred Smith, President and CEO, FedEx and Rich Trumka, President, AFL-CIO – were unanimous in the need for greater investments in infrastructure including an increase in the federal gas taxes, while also acknowledging there needs to continue be a role for private investment.  Ranking Democrat on the committee, Peter DeFazio outlined his plan to pay for certain infrastructure projects, which includes indexing the gas and diesel taxes to inflation to repay 30 year treasury bonds, raising the cap on Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) for airports, and directing billions of dollars back into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that have been diverted to pay for deficit reduction.

With infrastructure a top priority of President Trump and a part of the House Republican’s 200 Day Agenda, AGC will continue to push for additional funding and financing for all types of infrastructure and pro-construction regulatory policies.

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

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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
House to Consider Prohibiting Construction Reverse Auctions
AGC-Backed Bill Clears Committee
 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) introduced the AGC-backed bill, Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act, to limit federal agencies from procuring construction services through reverse auctions. In addition to addressing reverse auctions, this legislation reforms design-build procurement by reasonably limiting the second-step design-build shortlist. On Thursday, the bill easily cleared the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and it now moves to the House of Representatives for a floor vote.

AGC supports commonsense procurement reform that improves the delivery of federal construction services and benefits the government, taxpayers, small businesses, and the entire construction industry. AGC firmly believes reform of the federal procurement process should recognize construction’s unique melding of industry sectors while ensuring the government is using the most cost-effective method of procurement.

For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

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Register Now for the 2017 Federal Contractors Conference
May 1-3, 2017
 

Register today for the 2017 AGC Federal Contractors Conference (FedCon) and save $50 off the registration fee. FEDCON is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that will impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. Leading federal construction attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.

For more information and to register, go to http://meetings.agc.org/fedcon/registration/ Return to Top

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TRANSPORTATION
Elaine Chao Confirmed as Transportation Secretary
AGC Identifies Priority Issues
 

By a vote of 93-6, the Senate confirmed Elaine Chao to serve as Secretary of Transportation in the Trump Administration. A handful of Democrats voted against her nomination including Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). AGC delivered a detailed letter to Secretary Chao congratulating her on the confirmation and highlighting numerous priority issues AGC would like to work with the Department to address. AGC’s top priority is to fix the Highway Trust Fund so that it can continue to support the long-term economic strength of the nation. AGC also expressed support for reducing regulatory requirements that increase inefficiencies and costs in government programs. The letter highlighted opportunities for U.S. DOT to reduce the regulatory burden and offered recommendations on regulatory programs that need to be reconsidered, including: local hire requirements, disadvantaged business enterprise program, work zone safety, hours of service, greenhouse gas measures, and guidelines for environmental reviews.

Secretary Chao previously served as Secretary of Labor and in various Transportation Department leadership positions, including Deputy Secretary. She is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and is expected to be a major player in developing the Trump Administration’s infrastructure initiative.

For more information, contact Brian Deery atdeeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319. Return to Top

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