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Register Now for the 2018 Federal Contractors Conference

May 1-3, 2018 
Register today for the 2018 AGC Federal Contractors Conference.
The Federal Contractors Conference is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss 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 will impact their businesses. Attendees may also 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 meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
For more information and to register, go to

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House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman to Retire

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, announced on Jan. 2 that he will not seek re-election in November. Rather than focusing on a re-election campaign, he said that he will dedicate his remaining year in office to working with President Trump to pass a major infrastructure investment plan. Chairman Shuster met with the president on Dec. 11 to discuss a strategy for passing an infrastructure proposal. During his chairmanship, the Committee helped enact into law two major transportation bills—MAP-21 and the FAST Act—as well as two Water Resources Development Acts—WRDA 2014 and the WIIN ACT 2016—collectively authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars in federal infrastructure investment.
For more information, contact Brian Deery at [email protected] or (703) 837-5319.

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AGC Starts New Year with Infrastructure Push

This week, the Infrastructure Working Group – led by AGC and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – urged House and Senate leadership to take action on an infrastructure bill in 2018. Signed by more than 100 organizations representing construction, labor, finance, local government, and agriculture, the Working Group put forth a letter noting that infrastructure must continue to be a leading priority for Congress and that an infrastructure bill should address the following goals:

  • Increasing direct federal investments, in a broad range of infrastructure sectors over 10 years to achieve a $1 trillion investment;

  • Complementing and strengthening existing tools, such as municipal bonds, that successfully deliver infrastructure investments at the federal, state and local levels;

  • Facilitating opportunities for private investment in U.S. infrastructure;

  • Creating efficiencies such as accelerating the federal permitting process;

  • Fixing chronic challenges and addresses reoccurring shortages in key federal infrastructure accounts such as the Highway Trust Fund; and

  • Encouraging active participation among all levels of government and between the public and private sectors without shifting federal responsibilities because no single partner can deliver a well-functioning, national U.S. infrastructure network driven by a long-term vision and funding stability.

AGC will continue to work with the Infrastructure Working Group and other infrastructure stakeholders and coalitions to ensure that action is taken to transform the U.S. infrastructure systems beyond the status quo.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at [email protected] or (202) 547-8892.

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Labor Relations Board Overturns AGC-Opposed Browning-Ferris “Joint Employment” Ruling

On Dec. 14, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a highly controversial and AGC-opposed 2015 ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries and effectively returns the joint employment standard to the prior standard. AGC submitted an amicus brief with other associations supporting Browning-Ferris’s appeal of the 2015 decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The Board determined that, to be classified a "joint employer" of another company’s employees under the National Labor Relations Act, a business must have a direct and immediate control over the employees.  The Board said the Democratic majority in Browning-Ferris overstepped its authority by altering the legal definitions of employment and by holding that a company could be a joint employer even if it had only indirect or reserved control over the employees in question.
Chairman Philip A. Miscimarra’s term officially ended on Dec. 23, leaving the Board currently comprised of two Republican and two Democratic members. Republicans will not regain their majority until a third Board member is nominated and confirmed. Until then, the Board is not expected to consider controversial cases.
For more information, contact Denise Gold at [email protected] or 703-837-5326 or Claiborne Guy at [email protected] or 703-837-5382.

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Trump Signs Tax Reform Legislation

IRS Begins Process of Administering New Law
On Dec. 22, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Most of the tax reform law’s provisions went into effect on Jan. 1, creating a challenge for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury to administer the changes to the tax code within the next 12 months.
In the immediate future, the IRS announced that it expects to issue guidance in January on how much taxes employers should withhold, which will allow payroll processors and human resources departments to begin implementing changes in February. The IRS also announced that the guidance will be designed to work with existing W-4 withholding forms, and that additional action by employees is not expected.
AGC will continue to monitor the law’s implementation to ensure that new tax provisions utilized by construction firms are enforced correctly and favorably.
For more information contact Matthew Turkstra at [email protected] or (202) 547-4733.

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See You Next Week for the AGC Safety and Health Conference

Jan 10-12 in Long Beach, California
Register today for next week’s AGC Safety and Health Conference, held Jan. 10-12 in Long Beach, California. Attendees will hear the latest initiatives and actions from representatives of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and learn about how their construction industry peers are complying with silica rule; how to manage fatigue on the jobsite; establishing qualitative, data-driven risk management processes to improve safety and health and more (full agenda found here).

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OSHA’s Silica Rule Upheld by DC Circuit Court

AGC Compliance Resources Available to Members
On Dec. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld OSHA’s controversial occupational exposure to crystalline silica rule, rejecting all industry challenges to the rule. Ultimately, the court’s decision means that the rule will remain in effect as written. That is why AGC has long cautioned our members to take the steps necessary to comply with the rule—utilizing AGC’s silica compliance educational resources—instead of anticipating a legal victory.
The construction industry challenges to the rule primarily focused on whether it is technologically and economically feasible, while also raising concerns regarding certain aspects of the medical surveillance requirements and the prohibition of dry sweeping during cleanup operations.  The decision underscores just how difficult it is to overturn federal regulations, even one as deeply flawed as this.  AGC’s intention has always been to find a way to continue reducing exposure to, and illness from, silica. While we never disagreed with federal officials’ motives, we have long felt that this rule would do little to improve workplace health and safety and that better approaches exist.
Moving forward, AGC will continue to work closely with federal officials to both help ensure the undertaking of reasonable enforcement efforts and to help improve and expand upon Table 1, which lists “safe harbor” guidelines for compliance regarding 18 silica generating construction tasks.  We will also maintain efforts to provide AGC members with resources and support to comply. In particular, we will continue working to stimulate the development of new technology that will enable firms to comply with standards that exceed current technological capacity.
For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or [email protected].

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The Key to More Efficient Construction Projects is Collaborative Contracts

AGC recently participated in a Construction in America campaign where we united with likeminded industry leaders to advocate for how modern technology, people and equipment are helping our construction professionals manage risk and build quality projects safely, on time and within budget. The campaign was distributed through USA TODAY on Dec. 19, 2017 and is published online here.

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New Cybersecurity Requirements for Defense Contractors Begin Dec. 31

Defense contractors will now need to implement security control requirements and ensure sensitive federal information remains confidential when stored in any nonfederal electronic system beginning December 31, 2017.  Earlier this year AGC hosted a webinar giving an overview of the new cybersecurity requirements to AGC members.
The purpose of the new requirements is to ensure that unclassified DoD information residing on a contractor’s internal information system is safeguarded from cyber incidents, and that any consequences associated with the loss of this information are assessed and minimized through cyber incident reporting and damage assessment processes. It is not required to be applied retroactively, but a contracting officer may modify an existing contract.  DoD has consistently stated that the agency does not plan to audit contractors’ electronic devices, but will rely on contractor’s attesting to their compliance with the requirements.
AGC has communicated to DoD the difficulty many contractors have had in implementing these new cybersecurity requirements. According to a DoD spokeswoman, contractors must still comply by Dec. 31, but compliance means documenting the state of your company’s information system in a security plan (SSP) and documenting how and when your company will implement any requirements that have not yet been implemented.  Further, individual, isolated, or temporary deficiencies should be managed through Plans of Action/Milestones (POAM).
For more information contact [email protected] or (703) 837-5368.

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EPA Deregulatory Actions to Outweigh Impact of New Rules in 2018

On Dec. 14, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Semiannual Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan as part of the government-wide Unified Agenda—setting the path for the agency over the next yearOf particular interest to contractors, the Regulatory Agenda includes the repeal and replacement of the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule (see related article), which will remain a focus for the agency.  AGC also notes that the agency is reworking the 2015 coal combustion residual disposal rule (e.g., fly ash).
Although AGC was pleased that EPA preserved many forms of recycling/beneficial use common to construction, the rule itself has been controversial and is currently under litigation. AGC also has been tracking a new spill prevention rule for hazardous substances that EPA included on the current actions list. Finally, the agency will continue to fulfill its statutory obligation to periodically review National Ambient Air Quality Standards, on which AGC reports frequently because of the potential for disruption of highway funding in areas that are not in attainment of the standards.
Another issue of note is the delayed schedule for determining whether or not to propose lead paint “work practice” rules for public and commercial buildings (which moved to EPA’s long-term list in the spring and has remained there this fall).
For more information contact Melinda Tomaino at [email protected] or (703) 837-5415.

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