Federal Contractor Report
February 2018
Federal Contractors Conference
Last Day for Early Registration

Register today for the 2018 AGC Federal Contractors Conference, which will be held May 1-3 in Pentagon City, Virginia. This discount offer ends Feb. 19 and space is limited. 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 and may 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 dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
Federal Government
Tell Congress to Invest in Infrastructure NOW

AGC applauded President Trump for releasing his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Feb. 12 and backs his reported endorsement of a 25 cent federal gas tax increase to help make the Highway Trust Fund solvent. We link here to one-page summaries of the administration’s infrastructure funding, environmental streamlining and workforce development proposals. With action on an infrastructure bill moving to Congress, it is critical that the construction industry lets Congress know that the time for infrastructure investment is now. Contact your U.S. representative and U.S. senators right now so that they understand that investing in and improving our nation’s infrastructure helps America prosper.

Last week, President Trump released his budget request covering fiscal year 2019. The proposal, "An American Budget" calls for $4.4 trillion in federal spending in FY 2019, and while offset by $3.4 trillion in tax and other revenue sources, most estimates project the budget will tack on $1 trillion to the national debt. The budget adheres to the status quo, except for $44 billion for the proposed infrastructure initiative. A full analysis of the FY 2019 budget for federal construction accounts can be found here.

On Jan. 30, Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), along with Representatives John Katko (R-NY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), introduced the AGC-supported Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF-WIN) Act, charting a politically viable path towards updating water infrastructure investment.

When Congressional leaders struck their bipartisan budget agreement last week, they included an AGC-supported provision extending an energy efficiency tax deduction for commercial buildings, commonly known as 179D. One of many provisions known as the "tax extenders," the deduction expired on December 31, 2016, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2017. Shortly after the agreement, Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, announced that he intends to hold hearings over the next year to closely examine these tax extenders, with the goal of narrowing or modifying them in a post-tax reform world. We will closely monitor the Committee’s oversight action over the coming year.

For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.
Federal Agencies

On Jan. 25, the Senate confirmed AGC-backed nominee R.D. James – a 30-year veteran of the federal Mississippi River Commission – for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. During his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James received bipartisan praise. James is now the top official responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, making sure waterways and ports remain navigable. He will also be a key voice in shaping the administration’s policies on the Waters of the United States rule, a rule that determines which bodies of water fall under federal regulations.

For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

On Jan. 31, 2018, AGC attended an intimate stakeholder roundtable discussion with Ondray T. Harris, the recently appointed Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the U.S Department of Labor. AGC took the opportunity to outline the unique challenges construction contractors face when interacting with the OFCCP and complying with its requirements. AGC strongly advocated for greater clarity, increased communication, and deeper industry knowledge.
Status Quo Remains in Effect

Implementation of the Obama administration’s 2015 "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule—which expands federal environmental permitting jurisdiction involving wetlands—has been delayed. On Jan. 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) took AGC-supported regulatory action that delays the 2015 WOTUS rule from taking effect until February 2020. This action virtually maintains the status quo nationwide and provides continuity and regulatory certainty for contractors in the field while the agencies continue to work to repeal and replace the 2015 WOTUS rule. The need for this action became necessary after a Jan. 22 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would result in lifting the current nationwide stay of the 2015 WOTUS rule in most states.

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org.
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Upcoming Events

AGC 99th Annual Convention
February 26-28, 2018
New Orleans, Louisiana
Celebrating 100 Years of Construction

Naylor Association Solutions
AGC News

This year, AGC celebrates 100 years as the leading association for the construction industry. To commemorate this momentous occasion, AGC has created a centennial website where members can learn about the association's rich history, share their own stories, register for upcoming events, and much more.
Construction employment increased in 269 out of 358 metro areas between December 2016 and December 2017, declined in 43 and stagnated in 46, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released earlier in the month by AGC of America. Association officials said new infrastructure funding would help ensure firms continue to expand their headcount in 2018.
 

 

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