Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org May 10, 2018
Spacer
AGC Home Page
Email our Editor
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Subscribe
Printer Friendly
AGC Political Toolkit
RSS
Take Action!
On the Inside
INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Committee Releases Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill
AGC Weighs in with Treasury Department on Public Private Partnerships
Get Involved with Infrastructure Week Starting May 14
IMMIGRATION
Immigration Reform May Be Emerging in Congress, Again
TRADE
How Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Hurt Construction
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
House Passes AGC Backed Change Orders Bill
House Committee Passes Military and Veterans Affairs Construction Appropriations
AGC Federal Contractors Descend on Washington
INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Committee Releases Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill
Includes Army Corps, Drinking and Wastewater Infrastructure Priorities
 

This week Congress took an important step in keeping its promise to authorize a water resources development bill (WRDA) entitled America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. While not a spending bill, WRDA authorizes billions in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including navigation (dredging, locks), flood control (levees), hydropower (dams), recreation (parks), and water supply.  This bill would authorize about $2.4 billion of new federal spending on six projects involving disaster recovery.  Additionally, the bill includes several provisions impacting drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. AGC applauds Congress for returning to a regular two year authorization of WRDA and is advocating for reform.  

Notable highlights from bill include:

  • Five Year Plan – Requires the Corps of Engineers to provide Congress with a work plan and four-year projected budget on an annual basis
  • P3 Pilot Program – Extends the authorizations of the non-federal implementation pilot programs at $50 million for both 2020 and 2021
  • Authorized Projects – The Senate authorized fewer projects than in recent WRDA bills.  While the reason for this is unclear, it is expected that the House will authorize more projects
  • Reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
  • Language establishing a water infrastructure workforce development program
  • A sense of Congress that the State Revolving Funds should continue receiving robust federal support

Disappointingly, the Senate bill does not include the AGC-supported Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure NOW (SRF-WIN) Act, which would authorize additional funding for WIFIA and allow for these funds to be accessed by State Revolving Funds for drinking and wastewater.  Nor does it include AGC’s recommendations that would have streamlined duplicative environmental reviews before the Corps of Engineers can initiate a water infrastructure project.

A summary of the bill can found here. AGC testified before the committee earlier this year that you view by clicking here.  You can read AGC’s list of water resources recommendations by clicking here.  

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
AGC Weighs in with Treasury Department on Public Private Partnerships
 

AGC joined industry partners this week in expressing concern to the Secretary of the Treasury on a provision in the recent tax reform law that may be interpreted as having the unintended consequence of creating a substantial disincentive for private investment in public infrastructure through the use of public-private partnerships (P3s). The letter highlights the fact that the interpretation of section 163(j) of the tax bill could cause substantially increased costs at all levels of government as they pursue P3 projects.  Section 163(j) would cause the effective tax rate on P3s to skyrocket by restricting the P3 project company’s deductions for interest payments.

AGC, along with our industry partners, is asking Treasury to issue guidance to clarify the intent of section 163(j) and offered suggested guidance that is consistent with the tax bill and its legislative intents.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Get Involved with Infrastructure Week Starting May 14
 

Infrastructure Week 2018 runs May 14-21 and AGC – a longtime affiliate and partner of the week – looks forward to this being the largest Infrastructure Week yet. Infrastructure Week is a time for members of America’s business, labor, and government communities to turn up the volume on the need to fix our nation’s infrastructure.

To get involved, sign up for our Thunderclap! By signing up, you authorize one Infrastructure Week tweet or post to be sent from your Twitter or Facebook account at noon ET on Monday, May 14. The message will be: “Infrastructure Week starts today! A foundation of infrastructure = good jobs & a strong economy. It’s Time To Build.” By using the Thunderclap, we can make sure that every participating account sends the same message at the same time creating a lot of traction on our first day of Infrastructure Week.

Learn more about how you can get involved here.   Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
IMMIGRATION
Immigration Reform May Be Emerging in Congress, Again
 

This week a rare and controversial procedural maneuver in the U.S. House began gaining traction to address the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – otherwise known as Dreamers. The maneuver would require two dozen Republicans to join the entire Democratic caucus in supporting a legislative maneuver that then would force a vote on four separate and competing legislative proposals. The four proposals range from purely giving DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship, to coupling the legislation for Dreamers with increased border security, interior enforcement, and limits on future immigration.

While the process is complicated and rare, it shows a real desire by some in Congress to make a serious attempt to make legislative immigration reforms. None of the proposals under consideration address all of AGCs priorities; however, there is reason for AGC to stay engaged. Between the DACA program and the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) program, there are nearly 100,000 individuals with legal work authorization in the construction industry and finding a legislative path for them to permanently remain in the construction industry would avoid further exacerbating the industry’s worker shortage. The TPS program provides the industry with 50,000 workers and just last week the Trump Administration failed to renew the authorization for TPS holders from Honduras. There are an estimated 14,000 Hondurans in the construction industry.  

AGC will continue advocating for reforms that strengthens national security, addresses the workforce needs and creates a system that functions efficiently and fairly.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
TRADE
How Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Hurt Construction
 

On the latest episode of The ConstructorCast, we explore President Trump's recent tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. We talk with Collin Janich, AGC of America's Manager of Political & International Affairs, about how the tariffs have begun to hurt construction companies' bottom lines, negatively impact construction employment, and what AGC is doing to fight them.

Stream or download the episode here or search for "ConstructorCast" in your podcasts app!  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
House Passes AGC Backed Change Orders Bill
Encourages Transparency and Reporting
 

The House of Representatives passed an AGC-backed bipartisan bill that will require federal agencies to publish their change orders policy and procedures on any small federal construction contract. This change allows prospective federal construction contractors to better factor into their bids the risk and resulting cost of delayed payment for change orders.  This bill resulted from AGC member testimony during a House Small Business Committee on the impact of change order delays on federal construction contractors.

Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) echoed AGC’s position that this bill “…safeguards these contractors and requires agencies to publish their change order process up front, in their solicitations, so they have all of the information they need that can affect their bottom line.”

AGC is at the forefront in advocating for greater accountability of the change order process among the different federal agencies.  AGC has previously called on the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council to improve the data federal agencies collect regarding the administration of change orders in response to the Council’s information request. AGC’s recommendations would require federal agencies to collect a range of data regarding the timeliness of action by the contracting officer (CO) to encourage greater CO accountability.  

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
House Committee Passes Military and Veterans Affairs Construction Appropriations
 

The House Appropriations Committee passed a funding bill to boost military construction and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) construction accounts for fiscal year (FY) 2019.  Military construction received $10.3 billion, an increase of roughly $241 million over the FY 2018 budget.

Meanwhile, the VA’s major and minor construction projects are slated to receive roughly $1.7 billion for FY 2019. In addition, the bill provides for $2 billion for existing infrastructure repair, and nearly $750 million for seismic correction work on several VA facilities across the nation.

The committee bill is now ready to move to the House floor for approval. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet progressed its version of the bill. AGC continues to press for investment in America’s military structures and veteran’s facilities to ensure the continued safety and health of our nation’s heroes.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
AGC Federal Contractors Descend on Washington
Leaders from Ten Federal Agencies Made Announcements
 

Hundreds of federal construction contractors met with major federal construction agencies and members of Congress in the Washington, DC metro area last week at the AGC Federal Contactors Conference. Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Small Business Administration, Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service participated, with several agencies making significant announcements about their respective programs.

Among the many highlights, the Honorable Lucian Niemeyer, Assistant Secretary of Defense, and Emily Murphy, Administrator of the General Services Administration, joined AGC’s CEO Steve Sandherr to discuss their vision for reforming the procurement process and ensuring timely payments to federal contractors. NAVFAC’s commander Rear Admiral Bret Muilenburg discussed his vision for the agency’s future and partnering with the construction industry.  The Army Corps of Engineer’s Lloyd Caldwell, Director of Military Programs, spoke about the roughly $17 billion worth of work from the disaster supplemental that the Army Corp intends to put out for bid.  GSA gave updates on the $1 billion courthouse construction program and on the Public Buildings Reform Board that will make recommendations of at least $8 billion worth of underutilized and vacant federal properties.

Presentations and other information from the conference were made available this week to the attendees of AGC Federal Contractors Conference.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

AGC Townhouse, 53 D Street SE • Washington, DC 20003 • 202.547.1625 (phone) • 202.547.1635 (fax)• www.agc.org
AGC Home | About AGC | Advocacy | Industry Topics | Construction Markets | Programs & Events | Career Development | News & Media

To ensure delivery of AGC’s Construction Legislative Week in Review, please add 'communications@agc.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, visit our white-listing page for more details.

© Copyright The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. All Rights Reserved.