Federal Contractor Report
December 2019
Federal Government
For the 11th year in a row, AGC of America has been named as one of the nation’s top lobbying operations by Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill. The publication’s annual ranking of top lobbyists lists AGC CEO Steve Sandherr as a top lobbyist. Sandherr said the listing is a really an acknowledgement of the quality of the association’s government relations team, noting that the team secured $7.6 billion in federal highway funding that Congress had planned to cut, a disaster aid package with billions of dollars dedicated to rebuilding impacted communities, and regulatory reforms to lower the bureaucratic burden on the industry, among other accomplishments this year.
You can read The Hill’s article and find the complete rankings here.
On Dec. 9, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees released a compromise deal on S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020. Soon after, the House overwhelmingly passed this annual defense bill, 377-48, sending it to the Senate where it is expected pass in the coming days. This measure includes roughly $11.8 billion for military and military family housing construction. While the bill rejected the Administration’s request for more than $7 billion for border wall construction, it did not include earlier provisions that would have barred the reprograming of funds for projects along the southern border. The agreement also did not include controversial provisions surrounding PFAS substances, instead opting for less stringent measures that give direction to EPA and DOD to regulate. 

On Dec. 10, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced a bipartisan agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) that will allow the trade pact to move forward in the House as soon as this week. Once a House vote is taken, the measure will move to the Senate for consideration. The Trump administration announced an agreement in principle on this newly negotiated version of NAFTA in late 2018 and has been working with Congress throughout the duration of this year to secure its passage. AGC applauds this announcement and will continue to support USMCA as it moves through the ratification process. An updated agreement with our North American trading partners is long overdue and will help ensure that trade impacting the construction industry supply chain remains free, fair, and certain.
For more information, contact Cory Gattie at cory.gattie@agc.org or (202) 547-4685.
Federal Agencies

On Dec. 19, AGC will host a webinar for federal contractors titled Cybersecurity– New Mandatory Requirements for Defense Contractors. The Department of Defense (DOD) will begin mandating cybersecurity certifications for all companies that do business with the agency in the fall of 2020. Under the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), defense contractors, including subcontractors, will be required to be certified among the different levels in order to be eligible for contract award. This webinar will give an overview of the new requirements for contractors, explore the potential impacts of compliance failure for federal contractors, and review the steps federal contractors need to take to become compliant. Click here to register.
For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Send AGC your comments

Send AGC your comments by January 10 for Small Business Administration (SBA) published proposed rule to its mentor-protégé program (MPP). This proposed rule marks the most significant revision of the program since its inception in 2016. The mission of the MPP is to help build a broad base of emerging business enterprises capable of performing high quality construction at competitive prices. The proposed rule would have significant implications for the government contracting community.
Most notably:
•     Merging the 8(a) MPP into the All Small MPP;
•     Limiting the size of mentors to only those firms having an average annual revenue of less than $100 million;
•     Replacing the “three in two” rule, which limits a joint venture to three contracts with a two-year time period when joint ventures can submit bids; and
•     Allowing prime contractors to rely on self-certification of its subcontractor.
If you would like to suggest comments on the proposed rule by the January 10, 2020 deadline, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Make Partnering Great Again
If you are a current or past contractor who has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, please take this short survey. AGC of America is currently engaged with USACE Headquarters on revamping how it approaches partnering.  Your response is important in our efforts to bring reform to USACE partnering procedures and guidelines.  Responses are not limited to one response per company, rather we encourage anyone in your company who has relevant experience in fill out this survey.  Thank you for time and consideration in filling out this survey.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

The U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released a final rule updating the regulations governing regular rate requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the first time in more than 50 years. Regular rate requirements define what forms of payment employers include and exclude in the "time and one-half" calculation when determining workers' overtime rates. The rule focuses primarily on clarifying whether certain kinds of perks, benefits, or other miscellaneous items must be included in the regular rate. Because these regulations have not been updated in decades, the Department’s intent is to better define the regular rate for today's workplace practices.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
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Upcoming Events

January 15-17, 2020
AGC Construction Safety & Health Conference
Austin, Texas

January 19-24, 2020
Construction Project Manager Course
Atlanta, Georgia 

January 20-24, 2020
AGC’s Project Manager Development Program 2nd Edition
San Antonio, Texas

January 27-29, 2020
AGC’s 2020 Conference on Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management
Bonita Springs, Florida

AGC News
Industry continues to add workers faster and pay higher wages than overall economy as association officials call on Congress and the White House to pass the JOBS Act, boost funding for career training
Construction employment increased by 1,000 jobs in November and by 146,000, or 2.0 percent, over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of new government data by AGC of America. Association officials said recent modest monthly increases in industry employment likely reflect the difficulty contractors are having in finding workers rather than a letup in demand. Officials urged federal officials to pass the JOBS Act and boost funding for career and technical education programs to help ease labor shortages.
Association urges quick resolution to trade disputes and uncertainty that are contributing to slower U.S. economic growth, causing a wide variety of businesses to delay or cancel construction projects
Construction spending declined 0.8 percent in October from September but topped year-ago levels by 1.1 percent, as decreases in private nonresidential, multifamily and public projects outweighed a recent revival in single-family homebuilding, according to an analysis recently by AGC of America of new federal spending data. Association officials said that the impact of trade conflicts is harming private construction.



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