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AGC Provides Regulatory Reduction Suggestions to EPA

Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request, AGC provided 30 pages of comprehensive and detailed recommendations for EPA’s regulatory evaluation in line with recent executive orders and presidential initiatives. In its submissions, AGC highlights the regulatory burden the construction industry bears and offers specific program modifications and solutions relating to water issues, oil spills prevention and preparedness, air and climate issues, lead-based paint issues, contaminated sites and liability, as well as compliance and enforcement initiatives.  To view the complete set of AGC submissions to EPA, click here, here and here.
For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at pilconsl@agc.org or Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org.

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House Committee Advances Career and Technical Education Reform, AGC Calls for Swift Passage

Send a letter to Congress in Support of H.R. 2353
This week the House Committee on Education and the Workforce advanced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would reform career and technical education. Please contact your U.S. representative and urge them to support this legislation which aligns programs with local employer needs, includes better reporting, increases work-based learning, promotes industry-recognized credentials and increases federal investment.
The bill is similar to legislation that passed in the House last Congress but failed to advance through the Senate. AGC remains hopeful the legislation will again pass the House later this year and that the Senate will follow suit and approve the bipartisan effort. AGC joined the Jobs and Careers Coalition and a multi-industry effort in advocating for the bill this week.
The bill is important to the construction industry because it authorizes funding for career and technical education programs, providing more than $1 billion annually to high schools and post-secondary vocational training programs. The bill was last authorized over a decade ago, and it no longer addresses the skills gap in today’s workforce. The greater flexibility to states on how they spend their allotments, the new performance metrics and the alignment of programs with other education and workforce training legislation will streamline federal programs. Similar to other education and workforce training programs, the success of the program rests on how it is ultimately implemented and how well employers collaborate and engage with educators in their local and state communities.
For more information, contact James Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133.

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House Members Continue to Push Highway Trust Fund Fix as Part of Tax Reform

Tell your Rep. to Sign Bipartisan Letter in Support of Long-Term Fix – DEADLINE TODAY
A bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives are circulating a letter asking House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ranking Democrat Richard Neal (Mass.) to fix the Highway Trust Fund as a part of any tax reform package the committee considers. Contact your representative and urge them to sign this letter, which is being circulated by Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Ranking Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia).  As of press time, 156 members of the House have signed onto the Graves/Holmes Norton letter (check to see if your representatives has signed on).
If you recall, Representatives Graves and Holmes Norton circulated a similar letter last year (check here to see if your Rep. signed the 2016 letter) that was signed by 130 bipartisan members of the House. The FAST ACT provides funding certainty for the Highway Trust Fund through fiscal year 2020.  However, following the FAST Act's expiration, the Highway Trust Fund will face cuts of approximately $18 billion per year.  A permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund needs to be found in order to eliminate these cuts.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.orgo or (202) 547-8892.

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AGC, Industry Allies Successful in Effort to Suspend FHWA Greenhouse Gas Measures

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will announce in tomorrow’s Federal Register that it will indefinitely suspend portions of a rule requiring states to develop performance measurements for tracking Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for federal-aid highway projects.  The suspension of the rule is a significant victory for AGC and our industry allies who fought the GHG rule that was issued in the waning days of the Obama Administration.
AGC questioned FHWA’s authority to issue the rule at the time and had asked Transportation Secretary Chao to consider rescinding it as the regulation goes beyond requirements outlined in the surface transportation authorization legislation, MAP-21. AGC will continue to monitor this issue, as the Federal Register notice stated that FHWA will be publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the “coming week” pertaining the GHG measure.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (703) 837-8892.

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Tell Congress to Repeal Prior Approval

Contact your U.S. representative to urge them to support the repeal of the burdensome prior approval requirement by co-sponsoring H.R. 2101 – the Prior Approval Reform Act. This legislation would repeal the prior approval requirement that discriminates against corporate-member trade association PACs, like AGC PAC.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, your company is required to grant written approval to AGC PAC if individuals on the administrative/executive team would like to learn more about the PAC and/or be solicited to contribute.  No other political entity, including corporate, labor union, and individual membership association PACs, is subject to the prior approval requirement.
AGC members have a constitutional right to join together in support of or in opposition to candidates for political office. Requiring prior approval discourages AGC members from participating in the national association's PAC, and creates an unequal playing field that restricts First Amendment rights to free speech. Help us repeal this burdensome requirement. Please contact your representative and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 2101 today.
For more information, contact David Ashinoff at ashinoffd@agc.org or (202) 547-5013.

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OSHA to Propose Extending July 1 Due Date for Submitting Electronic Injury and Illness Records

On May 17, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the agency’s intent to extend the deadline for contractors to submit their injury and illness data.  The update does not provide any specifics as to how long the extension will be or when the official proposal will be issued. The revised regulation – Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – initially required contrac18tors to submit information from their Form 300A to OSHA electronically by July 1, 2017, which would then be posted to the OSHA website for public access. AGC will continue to monitor the status of any further updates on the rule as they become available.
For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.org or (703) 837-5410.

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Congress Takes Notice of Change Orders Delays

AGC-Supported Bill Encourages Transparency; Hearing Next Week
Earlier this month, Congressman Don Bacon (R-Neb.) introduced the “Small Business Know-Before-You-Bid Construction Transparency Act of 2017, H.R. 2350, which would require federal agencies to publish their change orders policy and procedures on any small federal construction contract. This requirement will provide prospective federal construction contractors with the information they need to factor the risk and cost of delayed payment for change orders prior to submitting bids or offers to the federal government. Next Thursday, AGC members Ed DeLisle and Andy Brown will testify before the House Small Business Committee on change order delays and the impacts they have on federal construction contractors.
AGC is at the forefront in advocating for greater accountability of the change order process among the different federal agencies. In March, the House of Representative’s Small Business Committee requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a review of the use of change orders on federal construction contracts. This bipartisan request was a direct result of AGC’s efforts with both parties in Congress to address the many issues associated with change orders.
AGC has previously called on the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council to improve the data federal agencies collect regarding the administration of change orders in response to the Council’s information request. AGC’s recommendations would require federal agencies to collect a range of data regarding the timeliness of action by the contracting officer (CO) to encourage greater CO accountability.
For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

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House Members Continue to Push Highway Trust Fund Fix as Part of Tax Reform

Tell your Rep. to Sign Bipartisan Letter in Support of Long-Term Fix – DEADLINE MAY 19
As the push continues for Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund, a bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives are circulating a letter calling for a permanent Highway Trust Fund fix to be included in any tax reform package. If you recall, Representatives Graves and Holmes Norton circulated a similar letter last year (check here to see if your Rep. signed the 2016 letter) that was signed by 130 bipartisan members of the House. Help us to significantly increase that number by contacting your Representative and asking them to sign on to the letter. So far, 111 members of the House have signed onto this year’s letter.  See if your member has signed on and, if so, send an email thanking them for their support.
Attendees at next week’s TCC Fly-In will be bringing this message to Capitol Hill and urging their House representative to sign onto the Graves/Holmes Norton letter. In addition to signing the Graves/Holmes Norton letter, attendees will also be asking their members of Congress to fully fund the FAST Act’s authorized levels for FY 2018 and increase airport infrastructure investment as part of the FAA authorization.
The FAST ACT provides funding certainty for the Highway Trust Fund through fiscal year 2020.  However, following the FAST Act's expiration, the Highway Trust Fund will face cuts of approximately $18 billion per year.  A permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund needs to be found in order to eliminate these cuts.
The letter – which is being circulated by Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Ranking Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia) – is asking House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ranking Democrat Richard Neal (Mass.) to fix the Highway Trust Fund in any tax reform package that the committee considers.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.orgo or (202) 547-8892.

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Infrastructure Week is Right Around the Corner

AGC of America is once again one helping to support and promote Infrastructure Week – a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and everyday citizens around the message #TimeToBuild.  Next week – May 15-19, 2017 – advocates around the country will highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure and encourage lawmakers to invest in and modernize our roads, bridges, highways, airports, waterways, ports, and water systems.
AGC of America will be engaged in a social media campaign during the week to help educate the broader public and Congress about the many benefits of investing in our aging infrastructure.  In addition, all AGC chapters and member firms can sign up to become Affiliates of Infrastructure Week.  All Affiliates have access to a number of downloadable resources, including suggested social media content, template press release, template op-ed/blog post and a message guide.  In addition, there are already a number of activities taking place in cities around the country during Infrastructure Week. Please feel free to reach out to the groups organizing those events to participate.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.

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Tell Congress to Repeal Prior Approval

Contact your U.S. representative to urge them to support the repeal of the burdensome prior approval requirement by co-sponsoring H.R. 2101 – the Prior Approval Reform Act. This legislation would repeal the prior approval requirement that discriminates against corporate-member trade association PACs, like AGC PAC.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, your company is required to grant written approval to AGC PAC if individuals on the administrative/executive team would like to learn more about the PAC and/or be solicited to contribute.  No other political entity, including corporate, labor union, and individual membership association PACs, is subject to the prior approval requirement.
AGC members have a constitutional right to join together in support of or in opposition to candidates for political office. Requiring prior approval discourages AGC members from participating in the national association's PAC, and creates an unequal playing field that restricts First Amendment rights to free speech. Help us repeal this burdensome requirement. Please contact your representative and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 2101 today.
For more information, contact David Ashinoff at ashinoffd@agc.org or (202) 547-5013.

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