Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org May 16, 2019
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On the Inside
Infrastructure
White House Infrastructure Bill Meeting on May 22
Key Leaders Optimistic About Infrastructure Bill at TCC Fly-In
AGC-Backed Private Activity Bond Bill Introduced
Immigration
White House Releases Immigration Reform Proposal
Trade
More Tariffs on Chinese Goods Under Consideration
Events
Federal Contractors Conference | June 10-12, 2019 | Washington, D.C.
Register for the Summer Financial Issues Committee Meeting
Register for the 2019 Safety, Health & Environmental Conference
Infrastructure
White House Infrastructure Bill Meeting on May 22
Contact Congress/President on Infrastructure Bill
 
AGC is encouraging all AGC members and Chapters to urge their representatives, senators and President Trump to fund a robust infrastructure bill, including fixing the Highway Trust Fund by increasing the federal gas tax. President Trump and congressional Democratic leaders plan to meet at the White House on May 22 to discuss how to pay for a broad, $2 trillion infrastructure package. At the AGC co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition event on May 14, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted that she wants the bill to include not only funding for roads and bridges, but also transit, rural broadband, water systems, schools and affordable housing. Help us keep the pressure on Congress and the president by urging them to act NOW on an infrastructure bill
 
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.
 
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Key Leaders Optimistic About Infrastructure Bill at TCC Fly-In
 

 
From May 14-15, AGC contractors joined construction industry allies at the 2019 Transportation Construction Coalition’s (TCC) legislative fly-in event in Washington, D.C., to urge members of Congress and the White House to fix the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue shortfall and advocate for increased infrastructure investment. Speaking before participants of the event, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted her optimism on passing a comprehensive infrastructure package, stating that now is the time to “Build, Build, Build.”  Speaker Pelosi and other key congressional leaders plan to meet with President Trump on May 22 to discuss how to pay for an infrastructure package. 
 
Also addressing participants at the event were Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and new Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason, among others. Additionally, AGC members participated in meetings with their Congressional representatives, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and White House officials charged with managing the infrastructure package. At a separate AGC briefing, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Subcommittee on Highways said infrastructure and, the FAST Act reauthorization are high on the T&I Committee’s agenda this year. 
 
For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319.
 
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AGC-Backed Private Activity Bond Bill Introduced
 
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) recently introduced H.R. 2541, the “Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act.” The legislation would increase the federal cap on the amount of tax-exempt debt that can be issued through Private Activity Bonds (PABs) by $5.8 billion, to $20.8 billion for transportation projects. PABs are used by state and local governments to finance construction of new transportation infrastructure. PABs are a key component in the financing of projects in Public Private Partnerships (P3s). Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) 

For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319.
 
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Immigration
White House Releases Immigration Reform Proposal
 
On May 16, the White House released a new the legal immigration system policy proposal that would prioritize immigrants’ skills over their family affiliations. The proposal includes a merit-based immigration system approach through a “Build America Visas” program based on a point system with education and employment offers as key variables. AGC remains supportive of temporary guest worker immigration visas to help alleviate workforce shortages, having supported pending legislation—The Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act, H.R. 1740 –that would allow contractors to hire year-round construction guest workers who otherwise have no legal immigration avenue. AGC members are encouraged to to urge their elected officials to support H.R. 1740.
 
Currently, the Administration’s proposal lacks key immigration reform specifics. Noticeably absent from the proposal are ways to transition the current undocumented population or address those with temporary status in the DACA and TPS programs. Other key details of importance to AGC members are how skills are defined and how Build America Visas could be extended to the construction industry to alleviate the worker shortages. The proposal is a first attempt by the Administration to align economic needs and future immigration but must be expanded upon to address other key immigration challenges such as earned legalization for immigrants already in the U.S.
 
Congress has been unwilling to find common ground on reforming the nation’s immigration system. The House is preparing to move a narrow immigration bill, H.R. 6, to extend DACA and TPS status, permanently. That bill is unlikely to become law without major changes and additional provisions like mandatory e-verify or enhanced border security.
 
For more information contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org.
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Trade
More Tariffs on Chinese Goods Under Consideration
Construction-Related Supplies & Materials in the Crosshairs
 
On May 10, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) began the process of raising tariffs on “essentially all” remaining imported goods from China, valued at $300 billion. This list of goods preliminarily includes construction-related items such as iron, alloy, and stainless steel material products, safety head gear made of reinforced plastic, paint brushes and rollers, work clothing and footwear, and various electric hand tools and parts. Many of the items that have had tariffs accessed on them are materials incorporated into the actual construction project itself, necessary parts for manufacturing construction equipment, or the construction equipment itself. Costs for these various supplies, materials, and equipment may rise accordingly, placing further pressure on contractors to increase their bid prices. For a full rundown of trade actions taken by the Trump administration and their impact on the construction industry, click here.
 
For more information, contact Cory Gattie at cory.gattie@agc.org or (202) 547-4685.
 
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Events
Federal Contractors Conference | June 10-12, 2019 | Washington, D.C.
Last Chance to Save on Room Rates
 
Reserve your hotel room by Friday, May 17, to receive a discounted rate for the 2019 AGC Federal Contractors Conference. To make your reservation click here or call the Ritz-Carlton reservation line (202) 835-0500 and please mention the “AGC Federal Contractors Conference June 2019” to receive your discounted rate.
The Federal Contractors Conference discusses 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 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, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
 
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Register for the Summer Financial Issues Committee Meeting
June 10 11, 2019 | Washington, D.C.
 
Register today for the summer AGC Financial Issues Committee Conference is open. The meeting will take place June 10-11 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. Further details can be found on the website, which can be found here. Geared toward member company CFOs, Controllers, Tax Directors, Sureties and other senior accounting professionals – learn from practitioners, formulate positions on matters affecting the industry, talk with FASB and lawmakers, as well as network with peers.
 
During the January meeting in Florida, over 40 member company CFOs and other senior accounting professionals were brought up to speed on FASB initiatives and tax practices, had a policy discussion with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and staff from the Senate Finance Committee; a segment on emerging construction technologies with K.P. Reddy from Shadow Ventures; as well as provided an economic outlook by AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.
 
For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.
 
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Register for the 2019 Safety, Health & Environmental Conference
July 23 - 25, 2019 | Seattle, WA
 
Join more than 300 construction safety, health, and environmental professionals at the AGC Safety, Health & Environmental Conference taking place July 23 – 25, 2019 in Seattle, WA. This conference is the industry's foremost annual conference to hone in on the most critical safety, health, and environmental compliance and risk issues impacting the business of construction. Whether your goal is protecting the safety and health of the men and women working in construction or protecting the environment during the construction process – this is the conference for you. Stay current on the latest issues through a mixture of plenary and breakout sessions. Learn more about the conference today..
 
For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.org.
 
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