Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org January 24, 2019
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On the Inside
Government Funding
Senate Votes to Reopen the Government Fail
Tax
Treasury Issues Final “Pass-Through Deduction” Regulations
Transportation
AGC Urges Infrastructure & Workforce be Included in State of the Union
Human Resources
AGC Urges Congress to Preserve & Strengthen Employer-Sponsored Health Care Coverage
Events
AGC In-House Environmental Managers Meeting | February 20, 2019 | Arlington, VA
Government Funding
Senate Votes to Reopen the Government Fail
 
On Jan. 24, two bills that would end the partial government shutdown failed to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to advance in the Senate.  The first bill—failing on a 52-44 vote—would have funded currently shutdown federal agencies for three weeks to allow federal workers to receive their last two paychecks while Congress and the White House continued negotiations on a permanent solution. The AGC-backed second bill—failing on a 50-47 vote—would have: (1) extended work authorizations for three years for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders, which include approximately 120,000 construction workers; (2) funded approximately $7 billion in disaster-aid construction project funding; (3) provided a $10 billion increase over FY 2017 annual funding levels for federal infrastructure programs, including $5.3 billion more for highways, $1 billion more transit, and $500 million more for airports; and (4) provided $5.7 billion for border security infrastructure. 
 
For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325. 
 
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Tax
Treasury Issues Final “Pass-Through Deduction” Regulations
 
On Jan. 18, the Treasury Department issued final regulations on the “Section 199A deduction” (often called the pass-through business deduction or the qualified business income deduction). The deduction, which provided tax relief for construction firms organized as pass-through entities (as opposed to those organized as C-Corporations, whose tax rate was reduced to 21 percent), allows those businesses that qualify to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income until the end of 2026, when the provision expires. In the final regulations, Treasury agreed to some of AGC's recommendations, and disagreed with others. Overall, AGC feels confident that construction firms will have wide use of the new deduction, allowing pass-through firms to receive significant tax relief when they file their taxes later this year. A comprehensive summary of the regulations can be found here.
 
For additional information, please contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org pr (202) 547-4733.
 
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Transportation
AGC Urges Infrastructure & Workforce be Included in State of the Union
Address to Congress on Hold Due to Partial Shutdown
 
AGC CEO Steve Sandherr earlier this month urged President Trump to offer bipartisan solutions to addressing our nation’s infrastructure—including fixing the Highway Trust Fund—and workforce skills gap.  Exactly when the President delivers the State of the Union remans in flux as he is thus far honoring Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) request to postpone the speech until the partial government shutdown has ended. In the meantime business continues, as it was reported earlier this week that the president huddled with about 20 officials—including Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—to discuss a potential infrastructure plan and whether to include details of it in the State of the Union address.  
 
AGC is encouraged by news of such a discussion and will continue to urge the president to include infrastructure and workforce in the State of the Union, while working with Congress to move forward on both issues.
 
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.
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Human Resources
AGC Urges Congress to Preserve & Strengthen Employer-Sponsored Health Care Coverage
 
AGC called upon all members of the new Congress to recognize the important voice employers have in debates about reforming our nation's health care system. Employer-sponsored coverage insures over 181 million American lives and has been the backbone of the U.S. health system for nearly eight decades. AGC believes that benefit offerings and coverage plans in the employer-sponsored system are as diverse as employers themselves and that there is no one-size-fits-all employer plan. 
 
Specifically, AGC called on Congress to preserve the current tax treatment of employer-sponsored coverage, promote innovations and diversity of plan designs and offerings for employers, provide employers with compliance relief from burdensome regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act taxes on employer-sponsored coverage, and protect ERISA.
 
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or 202-547-0133 or Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.
 
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Events
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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