Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org January 10, 2019
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On the Inside
Government Funding
AGC Federal Government Shutdown Update
Transportation
Trump Nominates Nicole Nason as Federal Highway Administrator
General Services Administration
Trump Nominates Nicole Nason as Federal Highway Administrator
Surveys
Your CLWIR Subscription
Events
Free Webinar Series on Alternative Pension Designs for AGC Union Contractors
AGC In-House Environmental Managers Meeting | February 20, 2019 | Arlington, VA
Government Funding
AGC Federal Government Shutdown Update
 
The partial government shutdown that began on December 22 continues. AGC is aware of limited impacts on the construction industry to date. As it stands, the E-Verify system—which allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States—is unavailable (see details here). In addition, AGC knows of at least two state departments of transportation—New Mexico and Oklahoma—that have cancelled their January lettings. 
 
Whether contractors are expected to work during the partial government shutdown depends on the type of work the contractor executes with any particular federal agency. If a contractor works for a branch of a federal agency that performs essential work that remains open during the shutdown, the contractor will in turn likely be required to continue work. 
 
AGC of America recommends that members consult AGC’s What Contractors Should Know in the Event the Government Shuts Down. Here is a list of major federal construction-related agencies and their status during the partial government shutdown:
 
Unaffected Construction-Related Agencies & Programs
  • The Department of Labor (including but not limited to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Wage and Hour Division, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs)
  • Construction agencies within the Department of Defense including but not limited to the Army Corps of Engineers (Military Construction and Civil Works Programs), Naval Facilitates Engineers Command, and Air Force Civil Engineer Center
  • The Bureau of Reclamation 
  • The Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Major and Minor Construction Programs
Affected Construction-Related Agencies
  • Department of Transportation (minimal impact) 
 -The federal-aid highway program has not been significantly impacted by the shutdown to date. Because Congress has enacted authorization legislation through September 2020 for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), state DOT requests for reimbursement for on-going highway projects will continue to be honored. States will also be able to continue to enter into contracts with the assurance of federal reimbursement. Nevertheless, states may consider holding back on lettings because of general uncertainty the longer the shutdown lasts. As it stands, New Mexico and Oklahoma have cancelled their January lettings. 
 
-Some of the grant programs (e.g., BUILD a.k.a. TIGER) receive funds through the General Fund—not the HTF—and could be impacted. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Grants are also funded through the General Fund. As such, there could be a slow-down in reimbursements there. That stated, some FTA funds for construction come from the HTF account. While funding for these projects is still available, the personnel that process reimbursements are furloughed and payments could be slowed.
 
 
  • Department of Interior (including but not limited to the National Parks Service, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service) 
  • General Services Administration 
  • Department of Agriculture (Natural Resource Conservation Service) 
  • Department of Homeland Security (including but not limited to the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Control, and E-Verify through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) 
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development 
  • Department of State (including but not limited to the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations) 
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Small Business Administration 
 
Additional Resources
 For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
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Transportation
Trump Nominates Nicole Nason as Federal Highway Administrator
 
On Jan. 3, President Trump nominated Nicole Nason to serve as the next Federal Highway Administrator. Nason has been serving in the Trump Administration for the past year as an Assistant Secretary at the State Department. AGC has meet with her several times in her current role to discuss US embassy construction issues. Nason has a strong background in transportation having served as the youngest Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSHA) from 2006-2008 during the Bush Administration. Prior to that she worked as assistant secretary for government affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, from 2003-2006, where she worked closely with Congress on the SAFETEA-LU transportation authorization legislation. AGC will encourage the Senate to move expeditiously to confirm Nason. 
 
The FHWA Administrator position has been vacant for the past two years. Paul Trombino, former Iowa DOT Director, was nominated by President Trump to lead the agency, and his nomination was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, however, Trombino withdrew before final Senate approval. Brandye Hendrickson, FHWA Deputy Administrator, has been leading the agency in the interm.
 
For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319.
 
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General Services Administration
Trump Nominates Nicole Nason as Federal Highway Administrator
AGC Submits Recommendations
 
On Jan. 7, AGC of America submitted comments to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on a proposed rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR). The proposed rule would adopt an additional project delivery method for construction, construction manager as constructor (CMc). Under this construction process, the design and construction manager/general contractor are engaged at the initial stage of the project. 
 
AGC is encouraged by GSA’s efforts to incorporate best practices from the private construction sector, which allows for early industry engagement by the construction contractor and owner.  AGC supports the use of CMc by GSA as a collaborative process that has been shown—by GSA’s own numbers—to result in fewer project delays and cost overruns. AGC will continue to have an open dialogue with GSA regarding CMc and other improvements to this project delivery method.
 
To access AGC’s recommendations referenced above, click here.  
 
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
 
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Surveys
Your CLWIR Subscription
Please Complete our Brief Survey
 
Thank you for subscribing to the Associated General Contractors’ Construction Legislative Week in Review (CLWIR) Newsletter. The newsletter is designed to provide AGC members with weekly information on federal legislation and regulatory efforts impacting the commercial construction industry. If you haven’t already, please complete this brief survey to continue your subscription and provide AGC with feedback on how we may better serve our readers. 
 
For more information, contact Jenni Traver at jennifer.traver@agc.org or (703) 837-5435.
 
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Events
Free Webinar Series on Alternative Pension Designs for AGC Union Contractors
 
Given the many shortcomings of the multiemployer pension system traditionally used in the unionized sector of the construction industry, many parties are looking for alternatives. AGC, in cooperation with labor and others, is actively advocating for legislative changes that would authorize a new retirement plan model called “composite plans.”  In the meantime, there are some alternative plan designs already available to consider. In January, AGC will offer a multi- part WebEd series designed to educate union contractors and their representatives about alternatives and help inform their decisions. The series is free to AGC members and chapter staff.
 
On January 15, Kelly Coffing and Ladd Preppernau of Milliman will talk about the Sustainable Income Plan, a variation on a variable annuity plan design recently adopted by several AGC chapters.
 
On January 24, Dan Brennan and Mark Levengood of Susanin Widman and Brennan will provide information about an AGC chapter-developed strategy involving a cash balance model.
 
Each session will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time and will last 60 or 90 minutes.
 
Click here to register.
 
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or 202-547-0133.
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AGC In-House Environmental Managers Meeting | February 20, 2019 | Arlington, VA
 
Are you an environmental professional working at a general construction firm? Join your peers at the next AGC In-House Environmental Managers (IHEM) meeting on Feb. 20, 2019, at AGC’s Headquarters in Arlington, VA. The IHEM meeting creates a forum for greater peer-to-peer learning and interaction by facilitating a series of moderated roundtable discussions. You choose the topics in advance and then spend the day sharing first-hand experiences and discussing solutions to the challenges on your to-do lists. Visit the meeting site to register today.
 
Registration is open to professionals working in-house on environmental issues at general construction firms. To ensure active discussion/participation, space for this meeting is limited.  The registration fee of $199 covers breakfast items, lunch, and a reception. AGC has booked a room block with breakfast included at the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza for $189 per night (plus tax and fees). Click here to book your hotel room online.
 
For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5401.
 
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