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www.agc.orgJuly 21, 2009
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On the Inside
TRANSPORTATION
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Approves 18-Month SAFTEA-LU Extension
AGC and Zurich Release Highway Worker Safety Program
AGC NEWS
AGC Ranked Top Association by CEO Update
LABOR
DHS to Implement E-Verify Rule But Revoke No-Match Rule
Federal Government Makes Employers Subject of Immigration Enforcement with I-9 Audits and E-Verify Monitoring
Minimum Wage to Increase on July 24
Administration Proposes Rule Implementing Executive Order on Project Labor Agreements
Administration to Place Special Emphasis on Construction Industry Anti-Discrimination Compliance
FREE DVD with RIFs, Lay-Offs & Furloughs in Construction: Avoiding the Pitfalls Webinar
SPECIALTY
AGC Specialty Contractors Council Seeks Input from Specialty Contractors
CONSENSUSDOCS
Receive a Free ConsensusDOCS Reference Kit CD
WATER
AGC Officer Testifies on Water Trust Fund
AGC Pushes for Water Trust Fund
MEETINGS & EDUCATION
HR Professionals and Training & Development Conference
Fall BIMFORUM Call for Presentations
When Itís Time for Answers, Who Can Help the CEO?
Negotiating Skills for Contractors
Turning Points in Construction - Free Webinar
Learn More About AGCís BIM Education Program
AGC Holds Midwest Regional Meeting with Carpenters and Operating Engineers
BOOKSTORE
Drawing the Line: How to Prevent Sexual and Other Harassment
 
TRANSPORTATION
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Approves 18-Month SAFTEA-LU Extension
 

By an 18-1 vote July 15, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved an 18-month extension of spending authority for the federal highway program through March 31, 2011. The legislation authorizes the program in FY 2010 at FY 2009 funding level of $41 billion and provides $20.5 billion in authority for the first six months of FY 2011.

The Senate Banking Committee must also pass an extension of the transit program and the Commerce Committee must take up safety programs. In addition, the Finance Committee is expected to include a $20 billion transfer of funds from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund to ensure that there is sufficient revenue to reimburse states for on-going construction projects for the remainder of FY 2009 and FY 2010. The bill is a “clean” extension, meaning it does not include any policy provisions. In an effort to keep pressure on Congress to enact a six-year transportation authorization measure, Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) attempted to amend the extension to 12 months but that effort was defeated on an 11-8 vote.

The highway and transit programs face two related but separate problems. SAFTEA-LU expires on September 30, 2009. New authorization is needed to keep the program operating beyond that date. In addition, there is an insufficient balance in the Highway Trust Fund to pay for on-going construction through the end of the fiscal year. Also, incoming HTF revenue would only support FY 2010 funding of about $20 billion. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) is working to pass a six-year authorization bill and does not support the extension, although he is proposing legislation to transfer $7 billion in general fund revenue to the HTF to keep it solvent through the end of this fiscal year.

The Obama Administration would prefer to put off the long term extension of authorization and has proposed instead an 18-month extension with a $20 billion transfer of general fund revenue to keep the programs operating through FY 2010. The administration would also like to include some policy initiatives in the 18-month extension. The EPW Committee’s approval of an 18-month extension would solve the short term funding problem and keep the program operating beyond the end of the authorization expiration. EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said she intends to have her committee continue to work on a six-year authorization but took today’s action to ensure there is no interruption in the program.

AGC’s top priority is to ensure that there is no disruption in payments to contractors for ongoing projects both in the short term and long term. AGC also is pressing for a long term reauthorization of the program that provides sufficient new revenue to address the backlog and growing national transportation needs.  

For more information, contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

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