Federal Contractor Report
May 2020
Federal Contractors Conference
AGC is currently seeking questions and topics for discussion at the Virtual Federal Contractors Conference (FedCon) to be held June 8-12, 2020. Attendees have the unique opportunity to lead the meeting agenda and directly interact with and pose questions to construction leaders in a wide array of federal agencies. These robust discussions offer contractors the opportunity to learn about the latest projects and policies and address problems the industry may face when working directly with a federal agency. Click the Learn More link below to see the draft agenda for each session. Click here to submit comments to AGC on any of the listed sessions.
Federal Government
On May 6, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee unanimously approved two water-related infrastructure bills. The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA), as amended, would invest the nation’s water resources infrastructure and clean water infrastructure and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (DWIA), as amended, would invest in the nation’s drinking water infrastructure. AGC applauded the Committee’s bipartisan efforts to develop the bills and highlighted provisions that it supports. Last month, AGC, along with four other organizations, was invited by EPW to submit a written statement on the discussion drafts. These bills will now go to the full Senate for consideration. For more information, contact Murphie Barrett at murphie.barrett@agc.org.
On April 28, AGC helped facilitate a meeting with President Trump for AGC member Ali Mills from Plum Contracting, a member through the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania Chapter. During that visit, Ali got to tell her story about how the Paycheck Protection Program loans helped her put people back to work in her part of the country. You can watch her story, or listen to or watch her on the latest edition of AGC’s ConstructorCast Coronavirus Special Report.
On May 7, AGC organized 152 trade associations in calling for Congress to nullify recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance essentially making business expenses—which are usually deductible—paid by forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds fully taxable. The impact of this IRS guidance is significant. The effect will be to substantially increase the tax liability of PPP loan recipients at the worst possible time. For C-Corporations, it means an increase in the net after tax liability of PPP loan forgiveness by as much as 21%. For pass-through businesses, such as S Corporations, the marginal increase could be as high as 37%. Once state income taxes are included, the impact will be even greater. AGC is committed to ensuring a fix to this IRS guidance is enacted in the next COVID-19 relief bill. For further information, contact Matt Turkstra at matthew.turkstra@agc.org.
Federal Agencies
TAKE ACTION: Tell the Trump Administration and Congress to fix PPP loans
AGC is again asking all members to call on the Trump Administration and Congress to clarify confusing guidance related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan system. On May 5, the Trump Administration announced that it was extending the deadline for firms to return Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by one week, from May 7 to May 14. The decision comes days after AGC urged the administration to provide more time for firms to decide if they would return the loans. AGC made clear in an initial request for a deadline extension that the administration must clarify its vague and confusing guidance that requires borrowers to certify that ‘current economic uncertainty’ made the loan requests necessary and that they must also take into account their access to ‘other sources of liquidity.’ This unclear guidance from the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration, as well as inflexible rules governing the system written by Congress, threaten the ability of construction businesses to access, hold on to, and use PPP loans to protect construction jobs.
On April 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register. This final rule establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. After a multi-year process, AGC applauded the rule when the agencies signed the final version in January 2020. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. The final rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. AGC provided a brief summary of the rule in January. Additional information about the rule can be found on the U.S. EPA website. For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at melinda.tomaino@agc.org.
Construction employment declined by 975,000 jobs in April as a new survey by AGC of America and data from construction technology firm Procore show deteriorating demand for construction, officials with the association announced recently. The new economic data underscores the need for new federal measures to help the construction industry recover, including infrastructure funding, safe harbor provisions and fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program guidance, association officials added.
AGC News
Construction official urges Treasury Department to clarify recent, confusing guidance that is prompting many construction firms to return loans, cut staff instead of risking prosecution
The chief executive officer of AGC of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the Treasury Department’s announcement that it will extend the deadline for allowing firms to return their Paycheck Protection Program loans from May 7 to May 14.
The latest issue of Constructor magazine is now available to read online. Inside you will find information on how AGC is helping members cope with the coronavirus, how the AGC/Autodesk grant program keeps women safe on jobsites while recruiting more into the industry, a recap of the 2020 Annual Convention, and much more.



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