House and Senate Pass Defense Bills

Legislation Heads to Conference

On July 23, the Senate overwhelmingly passed (86-14) the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021 (NDAA). On July 21, the House of Representatives passed (295-125) its version of the FY 2021 NDAA. Both Chambers passed the defense bills with veto-proof majorities. The House and Senate will go to conference and reconcile these bills for a final NDAA. Congressional leadership expect the defense bill to be enacted into law this year, which would mark the 60th year in row. Both defense bills authorize roughly $8 billion for military construction and contain a host of procurement and environment provisions. Some noteworthy provisions would have particular impact on federal construction contractors: 1) the House version includes an AGC supported requirement for federal agencies to initially pay at least 50 percent of the actual (incurred or committed) cost of the unilateral change order, 2) the House version would dramatically alter how military construction is procured, which AGC has opposed, 3) the Senate version repeals a law enacted last year requiring military construction contractors have at least twenty percent of employees being qualified apprentices, and 4) the House would automatically blacklist contractors who violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. AGC lobbied lawmakers to enact commonsense reforms and is closely monitoring both bills. As the legislative process moves forward, AGC will continue to work with Congress and advocate for further reforms important to federal contractors.

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