AGC's Construction Legislative Week in Review - 11/15/2012 (Plain Text Version)

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House Republicans and Senate Democrats and Republicans Choose Leaders for 113th Congress

This week, House and Senate Republicans voted to elect their respective leaders for the 113th Congress . Most of the positions in the House were foregone conclusions, as no one challenged Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), or Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.). The most closely watched election was for conference chairman, which Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) won over Rep. Tom Price (Ga.). The official role of the conference chair is to preside over House Republican’s regular closed-door meetings and act in a public relations role for the caucus.  In addition, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) was elected as conference vice chair and Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) was appointed as the head of the National Republican Campaign Committee.  House Democrats have yet to hold their leadership elections, but Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) announced they plan to run for reelection to their respective positions.

The Senate elected their leaders under similar circumstances – no one challenged Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) ran unopposed for Minority Whip, replacing retiring Whip John Kyl (Ariz.).  Rounding out the Republican Leadership in the Senate is Sen. John Thune (S.D.) as conference chairman, Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) as policy chairman, and Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) as conference vice chairman.  The political arm of Senate Republicans – the National Republican Senatorial Committee – will be headed by Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.), replacing Sen. Cornyn.  

Senate Democrats largely kept its leadership team intact.  Sen.Harry Reid (Nev.) was reelected as Majority Leader, Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.) was elected Majority Whip, and Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) was reelected to head the Senate Democrat caucus policy and communications operations.  Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) will continue to serve as caucus secretary, while Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) will remain as vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.  The political arm of the Senate Democrats – the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – has not been decided.

AGC looks forward to working with leaders of both parties in the 113th Congress.

For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or

Senate Committee Moves Forward on WRDA

Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee moved forward on authorizing a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), holding a legislative hearing on draft legislation. Yesterday, EPW Committee Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and committee member David Vitter (R-La.), along with all the Republicans on the committee, wrote a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asking that  the WRDA bill reform the Army Corps of Engineers by streamline project delivery, enhance oversight and prioritize water projects.  

AGC sent a letter to Committee members thanking them for their work and urging bipartisan efforts to pass WRDA, as was done with the passage of the surface transportation reauthorization bill last summer.  Among other things, AGC praised Sens. Barbara Boxer and James Inhofe for including a provision that would explore innovative financing methods for funding water resources infrastructure construction. Innovative financing methods are a great supplement to federal funding. However, there remains no substitute for adequate and certain federal funding to maintain and improve our nation’s ports, inland waterways, flood control, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

AGC will continue to press for sufficient federal funding levels that would maintain and improve America's water resources infrastructure.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or [return to top]

Corps Releases Second Draft of Safety Manual Revision

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a second draft of the EM-385 Safety Manual revision, which is available for comment, and has extended the deadline for comments to Jan. 31, 2013.

To review the draft, click on the link above and go the tab on the left that says "EM 385-1-1, 2008 Being Revised."  The table provides all sections and appendices for your review and input along with the associated Comment Sheet.  The sections are presented in a second draft format, where all new material is underlined. All comments and input on this second draft will only be considered if the phrase "SUGGESTED WORDING" is submitted.  If nothing is in this column, the comment will be disregarded.

AGC will host a meeting where members can discuss and formulate comments to this latest draft. Please stay tuned for an update as to the time and location of that meeting.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or [return to top]

Register Now for AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum

Jan. 10-11, 2013 | Scottsdale, Arizona

The AGC Financial Issues Forum will hold their winter meeting Jan. 10-11, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona at Hotel Valley Ho.  At this meeting, attendees will discuss numerous topics, including: the legislative and political landscape including the plans for comprehensive tax reform, an update of Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) activities, and a discussion on evolving construction tax issues.

To register for the meeting, please click here.  For more information on hotel accommodations, airport information and more, please click here.

For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202) 547-3350 or [return to top]