Federal Contractor Report
November 2017
Federal Government

The House Ways and Means Committee began a formal markup last week of Congressional Republicans’ tax reform legislation, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AGC applauded the release of the long-awaited legislation last week, but noted specific concerns about the treatment of pass-through businesses (S-corporations, LLC’s, Partnerships, etc.) and the lack of infrastructure funding in the plan. AGC is asking you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to treat S-corps fairly as compared to C-corps and maintain incentives for public and private construction in tax reform.

In early November, AGC joined several national construction trade associations in urging Congressional Leaders to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras. The TPS program is a category of legal status granted to individuals fleeing armed conflict, environments disaster or other extraordinary events resulting in them receiving authorization to work in the United States. The system has existed for decades and involves strong vetting and biometrics.
Federal Agencies
Reduce Regulations, Increase Competition

On November 8, AGC met with Dan Mathews, the Commissioner of Public Buildings Service for the General Services Administration (GSA), to discuss the current and future role for the agency and to provide AGC guidance on improving GSA. Among the topics discussed, AGC encouraged GSA to continue to consolidate and reduce federal footprint and reduce short-term leased facilities. At the end of FY 2015, the total domestic federal inventory of office and warehouse space was 705.4 million square foot, which is a 3.4 percent reduction from the FY 2012 office and warehouse baseline. Existing policies under administrations of both parties have made incremental, but positive change that has saved taxpayer dollars. Additionally, AGC suggested ways the GSA could procure construction services like the private sector, including standardize GSA’s Construction Manager as Constructor procurement and project delivery method.

AGC submitted comments in early November to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) supporting its proposal to repeal an Obama-era rule requiring states to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when planning transportation improvement projects. AGC joined with 38 other organizations with similar interests in transportation infrastructure enhancements in challenging FHWA’s authority to mandate the measurements pointing out that Congress, in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, called for development of performance measurement standards but specifically limited those measures to safety related issues, pavement and bridge conditions and congestion.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP

On October 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) appealed a Texas judge’s decision to toss out an Obama administration rule that would have nearly doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. The Trump administration DOL is defending its authority to create an overtime rule, but not the salary limit set by the Obama administration. The agency filed its notice to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and once docketed, the agency — through the Department of Justice — will file a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance while the DOL undertakes further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have opened a docket to collect recommendations on how the "Waters of the United State" or WOTUS definition should revised. The agencies have spent the last few months gathering public feedback through a series of listening sessions and an in-person meeting for small entities. AGC participated in the listening session for construction and transportation and is preparing written recommendations by the Nov. 28, 2017, deadline. It is not too late to participate, see below for information on how.

On October 23, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began full enforcement of its respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. If your construction company operates under OSHA state-plans in one of 26 states or two territories, it is important that you check to see if your OSHA state-plan agency is following the federal OSHA’s lead with this enforcement policy.
Upcoming Events
Complimentary AGC Webinar

2 to 3 p.m. ET
November 20, 2017

Register today for this complementary webinar for AGC members. As you know, the most far-reaching tax reform legislation since 1986 is speeding through Congress. No matter what your construction market—public or private—or construction firm—c-corporation, s-corporation, LLC, LLP, or partnership—the passage of this legislation will have an impact on you. During this webinar, AGC’s lead infrastructure and tax lobbyists on Capitol Hill—Sean O’Neill and Matt Turkstra— and Chief Economist Ken Simonson will discuss:

• The latest updates on what’s in and what’s out of the tax reform legislation;
• The likelihood of its becoming law and, if so, when it would take effect;
• What this could mean for your construction business—no matter the type, c-corp, s-corp, LLC, partnership or so forth;
• What this could mean for your construction marketplace—public or private; and
• How AGC is advocating for your business and what you can do to help shape this critical legislation.

For more information or to register, click here. For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at matthew.turkstra@agc.org or 202-547-4733.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
AGC News
Apply by November 15, 2017!

AGC of America is proud to announce the launch of the AGC Diversity & Inclusion Awards program. AGC will present a total of six awards in three award categories: (1) the Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Awards, (2) the Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Award; and (3) the Diverse Business of the Year Award. These awards seek to raise awareness of the value that a diverse workforce and inclusive environment brings to a company by spotlighting diversity and inclusion champions within AGC. By recognizing these diversity and inclusion champions, AGC hopes to inspire other AGC member-companies to engage in activities that will promote diversity and inclusion both within the Association and the industry. AGC member companies and chapters in good standing who meet the competition requirements are encouraged to apply online for some much-deserved recognition. Apply by November 15, 2017. For more information contact Brynn Huneke at brynn.huneke@agc.org or (703) 837-5376.
Help us generate a comprehensive outlook for 2018 by taking the survey today

Each year around this time, AGC asks you – our members – to predict what next year will be like for your business. This year AGC has partnered with Sage to prepare questions that focus on expectations for market performance, hiring, labor market conditions, etc. Please take a moment to complete the survey.



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