Federal Contractor Report
October 2018
Federal Government
Authorizes Billions of Dollars for Corps, Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects

On October 10, the Senate passed — on a vote of 99-1 — an AGC-supported water resources development bill that helps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintain much of our nation’s water resources infrastructure. The president is expected to sign the bill into law.
Partial Government Shutdown Avoided

Congress passed fiscal year 2019 spending bills for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education, and a continuing resolution to successfully avoid a partial government shutdown this fall. The continuing resolution provides funding through Dec. 7 for the five remaining spending bills that have not yet been passed by Congress. This is the first time since 2007 that any appropriations bills have been signed into law prior to the expiration of the previous fiscal year. A full rundown of the status of the 2019 funding bills can be found here.
Updated AGC Tariff Resources Available

On Sept. 17, the Trump administration announced a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S., including a wide range of construction materials and supplies. The complete list of Chinese goods falling under this latest round of tariffs numbers in the thousands. Starting Jan. 1. 2019, the level of tariffs on these Chinese goods will increase to 25 percent, unless progress is made on trade negotiations with the administration. You can find updated AGC tariff resources here, which include: AGC’s Primer on 2018 Trade Action Affecting the Construction Industry, and AGC memos on contractual considerations private and federal/federal-aid contractors should consider in light of the tariffs. For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org.
Includes AGC-Championed DBE Reform

Congress passed the longest reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1982. While AGC supported the legislation – as it included a provision championed by AGC that would adjust the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) size standard from $23.98 million to $36.5 million – disappoint remains in that the legislation did not provide a significant funding increase for airport infrastructure.
Federal Agencies

On Oct. 9, AGC members met with leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Headquarters and field offices from across the country for the agency’s first-ever interactive training session with the construction industry in Washington, D.C.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Sept. 14 issued a proposed rule on the standard for determining when a company will be deemed a joint employer of another company’s employees under the National Labor Relations Act. The proposed rule would re-establish the standard in place before the controversial 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries decision. That decision made it easier to find joint-employer status by allowing for such a finding when a company merely exercises indirect control over essential employment terms of another company’s employees or even when it has simply reserved the right to control. The proposed rule requires the exercise of "direct, substantial and immediate control." AGC has previously supported such a standard in both litigation and legislation and expects to submit comments supporting the proposed rule before the 60-day comment period expires. For more information, contact Denise Gold goldd@agc.org or 703-837-5326 or Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.

AGC’s report, The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in the Construction Industry, outlines six reasons why diversity and inclusion are strategically valuable in generating corporate/industry innovation, increasing profitability, and ensuring a positive and sustaining legacy of progress for your firm.
AGC Comments in Support of Reforms

On Sept. 24, AGC commented on three proposed rules that would significantly affect the applicability and implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed revisions pertain to regulations governing the listing and delisting of species and plants, the designation of critical habitat and the interagency consultations that are part of the approval process for almost all federal permits and approvals. AGC’s comment letters (one, two and three) offered examples of why the current process is unpredictable and adds delay and cost to the permitting and construction of infrastructure projects nationwide.

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018, which would make permanent a number of AGC-supported tax provisions that will expire in 2025 without Congressional action. The Senate may take up the legislation after the November election.
AGC News
In November 1918, a group of general contractors met at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Out of the 250 in attendance, 97 walked out as part of an organization that would serve as the single voice for the construction industry for the next 100 years. AGC of America – small at the start – grew quickly in number, strength and effectiveness. In honor of the association’s historic milestone, we have compiled a special edition of Constructor - The Centennial Issue. In it, we look at the past, present and future of all aspects of construction and the significant role AGC and its members have had.
The cost of many products used in construction climbed 7.4 percent over the past year due to double digit increases in commonly-used construction materials, according to an analysis by AGC of America of new Labor Department data. Association officials noted that the cost increases come as many construction firms are already grappling with shortages of skilled craftsmen essential for projects but have limited ability to increase prices for their services.



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