Conferees Begin Negotiations
On Dec. 2, the Senate passed its version of tax reform legislation on a mostly party line vote of 51-49, with Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) being the only Republican to oppose the bill. Prior to the vote, Senate Republicans unveiled a host of last minute changes
to the legislation, which included an increase of the pass-through deduction from 17.4 percent to 23 percent. Combined with the Senate’s proposed individual rate schedule, this would lower the top marginal effective tax rate on pass-through businesses to 29.6 percent. This is a significant improvement compared to the original Senate proposal.
A compromised version the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
(NDAA)—which would authorize nearly $700 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD)—passed Congress. The NDAA contains a host of AGC-backed
federal construction procurement provisions important to construction contractors. Most importantly, however, is the fact that a federal contractor blacklisting provision is not in the final NDAA bill, thanks to AGC and industry coalition advocacy efforts.
As we noted previously, the Senate version of the bill originally contained a section that would essentially resurrect the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order
. AGC met with Senate offices and have worked with the Blacklisting Coalition
to voice the concerns of industry. The compromised defense bill removes that provision. AGC will continue to monitor this study and advocate for the exclusion of any further blacklisting rules. For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
AGC Submits Recommendations
Last week AGC submitted recommendations
to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In accordance to President Trump’s E.O. 13777
to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens" on the American people, and E.O. 13771
that directs agencies to "identify" at least two existing regulations for elimination whenever any new rule is proposed or issued, the SBA sought input on the agency’s existing regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. AGC highlights the regulatory burden the construction industry bears and offered specific program modifications and solutions relating to performing work with SBA.
Among AGC recommendations are:
• Improving SBA partnering with the construction industry;
• Credit for lower tier small business subcontracting;
• Improve processing and payment of contract modification; and
• Remove the lifetime limitations on protégés in the mentor-protégé program.
AGC will continue to advocate for practical and real reforms with the federal agencies and congress.For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Calls for Congressional Repeal These Agency Policies
On November 15, AGC urged
Congress to repeal—under the Congressional Review Act (CRA)—burdensome federal agency policies, including the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) multi-employer citation policy, the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) bid preference policy for construction project proposals including project labor agreements (PLAs), and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) guidance seeking to hold individuals in construction firms criminally liable for company offenses. A recent decision by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed what AGC informed Congress of last November
: that Congress may repeal not only final rules under the CRA, but also agency guidance and policies.
Collectively, these policies place unnecessary and unreasonable risks on contractors, often driving up the cost of construction. The OSHA multi-employer citation policy has created a confounding web of risk for prime contractors, often considered controlling employers responsible for the miscues of other contractors on the jobsite. GSA is the only federal construction agency that provides a 10 point bid preference for proposals with PLAs. And, the DOJ policy encourages prosecutorial fishing expeditions, instead of calculated enforcement efforts to address the actions of bad actors.
AGC has previously encouraged
the administration to address these policies and will continue to work with both Congress and the agencies to repeal them.For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at (703) 837-5325 or email@example.com.
December 11, 2017
WebEd: The New AIA A201 Insurance Exhibit & Updates to the ConsensusDocs Insurance Provisions: Insurance Requirements are a Chang’in
2 to 3 p.m.
December 13, 2017
WebEd: What You Absolutely Need to Know About the New AIA A201 and ConsensusDocs Industry Standard Contracts: Stay Ahead of the Curve
3 to 4:30 p.m.
January 8-9, 2018
2018 Financial Issues Committee Meeting
San Diego, California
January 10-12, 2018
AGC’s 2018 Winter Safety & Health Conference
Long Beach, California
January 16, 2018
WebEd: Evaluating Your Collaboration & Commissioning Technology
2 to 3 p.m.
January 18, 2018
Web Ed: BIM & Concrete Coordination with other Trades
2 to 3 p.m.
January 21-26, 2018
Construction Project Manager Course
Atlanta , Georgia
January 29-31, 2018
AGC's 2018 Conference on Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management
PABs, Advanced Refunding & Historic Tax Credit
Last week, AGC—along with a broad group of stakeholders—urged
congressional leaders to maintain key provisions in the tax code that help finance infrastructure projects throughout the country. Among others, AGC addressed maintaining the tax exempt status of Private Activity Bonds (PABs). PABs are a traditional means of tax exempt financing for surface transportation projects, airports, ports facilities, water and wastewater facilities, and multi-family housing projects. PABs and their tax exempt status were eliminated in the House bill, but maintained in the Senate bill.
AGC also continues to push to maintain the use of Advanced Refunding of Municipal Bonds, which is a tool that allows states and localities to free up borrowing capacity for new investment in infrastructure by taking advantage of lower interest rates on outstanding debt. Advanced Refunding was eliminated in both the House and Senate bills. Additionally, AGC continues to push to maintain another tool – the Historic Tax Credit – as the House bill eliminates the credit and the Senate bill severely restricts its use.
Contact your Representative and Senators
and tell them to not slash these important incentives for public and private construction. For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 547-8892.
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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